General discussion

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  • #2186873



    by dalin ·

    this might be a little unusual and petty but it’s always irritated me when someone uses a computer all day long, every day, and cannot type (without looking, at a decent speed). Besides not being productive, even if the person isn’t data entry, i think it’s important and should be a requirement to know how to type if you’re going to use a computer every day, all day at work, and even at home. i also don’t understand why someone using a computer wouldn’t want to learn how to type. If i had to peck at keys with 1 finger, it would make using a computer a major hassle. what do you think and does anyone have a policy requiring someone to know how to type?

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  • Author
    • #3244482


      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Typing

      Not everyone who uses a computer all day is a great typist. If they ask for help, recommend Mavis Beacon. If they don’t, their own personal productivity is between them and their supervisors.

      BTW I type somewhat inaccurately at about 60 wpm. But I’ve been using computers for 25 years.


      • #3262478

        Typing for IT pros

        by it security guy ·

        In reply to MYOB

        There is the fact that IT people, eventhough higher level staff and management have reports to write, there isn’t the same requirement for speed that a person in HR or other area that writes reports every day and they have to be completed quickly and accurately.

        That doesn’t mean we IT people shouldn’t worry about either, because we should. I think internal trainign could be suggested to those who “peck type”. I can do a combination of multi-finger typing while looking at the keys and typing without looking and the reports I write have longer due dates so I don’t need to worry about speed.

        • #3262459

          Some people

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Typing for IT pros

          type very quickly with only 2 fingers. I have seen this. Why should they switch to another method if they are efficient with the one they are using?

        • #3262748

          2 words…. Bill Gates

          by msmoss ·

          In reply to Some people

          Yes, Bill only uses two or three fingers to type. Do I need to say anymore?

        • #3261630


          by ratfink ·

          In reply to 2 words…. Bill Gates



        • #3260940

          Too bad…

          by l.c.royal ·

          In reply to TYPING

          Too bad you didn’t take an English class so you could have learned spelling and grammar as well. Then you could compose a meaningful, grammatically correct sentence. Typing class obviously did you no good, as they didn’t teach you where the “Caps Lock” key was.

        • #3241062

          l.c.royal — you stole my thunder! lol

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Too bad…

          I was thinking the *exact* same thing as you. You merely beat me to the post.

        • #3239954

          Don’t be so intransigent…

          by asleghel ·

          In reply to Too bad…

          …, everyone can see he’s not a native!

        • #3240419

          Bill Gates marketing whiz

          by billtahoe ·

          In reply to 2 words…. Bill Gates

          Bill Gates was never an IT professional and made all his money through his marketing and business skills, so who cares how he types, it doesn’t relate to the topic.

        • #3262706

          I am one of them

          by jleather ·

          In reply to Some people

          I type with two to four fingers and have received comments on my speed (both in the office and by friends at home).

          My accuracy is not bad either as I learned programming (and typing) on card punch machines in the 70’s and, without a backspace key, I hated retyping a whole damn card!!!

        • #3262591

          Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          by avuncular ·

          In reply to Some people

          Because unless you can do 30 WPM you’re wasting everybody’s time, including your own. You can’t do 30 WPM on 2 fingers. As recently as a year ago I was one of the delinquents 2-fingering the keyboard like a friggin woodpecker. A month later, with 15 minutes of exercise a day, I was pushing 25 WPM. You won’t belive how much more efficient I have become at other things, when I dont’ have to waste my time hunting and pecking.
          Come on, buy Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor — the best darn typing learning tool that I have seen — or Mavis Beacon, whatever. Invest into your skills, even the most basic ones.

        • #3262820

          As I said. . .

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          I know people who can type at 40-60 wpm using 2 fingers. In fact one of them just got his doctorate and type about 75 wpm with only 1 finger and a knuckle. No joke. He was born with deformed arms and hand. In fact he only has 1 hand with 3 fingers.

          Yet I timed him at one of our residencies. Don’t knock what other people can do. Don’t think that just because YOU can’t means everyone else can’t.

          My whole point is that if it works for the person leave them alone. It isn’t about speed. It is about getting the job done right. Not everyone has to type fast.

        • #3262796

          All the excuses…

          by avuncular ·

          In reply to As I said. . .

          Okay, that person with a deformed hand, G*d bless him for his struggles, is an unfortunate exception, not the rule. I know what 2 finger typing looks and sounds like, I’ve been there, I have talked to a doctor, and it is LITERALLY not healthy for your wrists and fingers. An AVERAGE 2-finger typist wastes everyone’s time, including his own.
          It amazes me what kind of excuses people would come up with to not get off their ass and do something that makes sense at an expense of some work. I have quit smoking and 2 finger typing. Both of above activities are not healthy and are wasteful, and I prefer making an effort, not excuses.
          My point is: Right, it is not about speed, but it is about doing it in a healthy and efficient way. Get off your ass, and learn to do it right!

        • #3262176

          What makes you think your way is. ..

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          the only right way. As I keep saying. There is more than one correct way. It is about performance. If someone is doing their job and doing it well, it shouldn’t matter how they type.

          BTW: there is no need to be rude to people who disagree with you. Also, I am just taking the side of those that 2 finger type because people think the only “real” way is by using both hands. I happen to type 10 finger and quite well. Look at my other post in this discussion and you will see where I mention it.

          Sorry, but typing is not a critical skill to achieving job performance success. If someone is struggling and it is affecting their work, THEN and only THEN is there a case for some training.

        • #3262150

          I’m a two fingered typist and a smoker

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          Get off it man, the philosophy worked for you fine. No need to get religious about it and ram it down everyone elses throat.

        • #3262141

          Down the ante …

          by avuncular ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          Okay, let me down the ante, I am not trying to preach or anything like that.
          If you’re doing a lot of typing, 2-fingering will land you a Carpal tunnel syndrome very quickly, just like smoking will give you all kinds of health problems, blah blah blah.
          If you’re fine with that, hey, this is a free country, no one’s keeping you from doing whatcha want.

        • #3262057

          One word

          by nmeyer ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          Manage by productivity. NOT skill sets. If somebody is not productive (due to typing) – coach them by providing lessons, etc.
          “Touch typist” does not equal “productive employee”

          Do you use a mouse? More carpal tunnel is caused by mouse use than typing. Not to mention lost seconds by puling the hand away from the keyboard, grabbing the mouse, etc. Horrible unproductive seconds lost by grabbing the mouse…
          Maybe we should make knowing keyboard shortcuts a mandatory thing?
          How about using windows? How much time is lost on poor menu design, useless help dialogs, etc.

          Get a grip…. just manage by productivity. Get over it.

        • #3261981


          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          That is the point. Manage or lead by productivity and don’t worry about the rest. Of course, the original poster felt that productivity was increased by people being good typists.

          Now, how do we determine if that is true or not based on job responsibilities? How do we determine if the typing ability is the cause of the lower productivity?

          Boy what can of worms this opens. See if you want to manage by productivity, you need to define what is productive and what is not.

          Just some things to think about, though I do agree with nmeyer and many others that typing is not the key skill to focus on. 🙂

        • #3261930


          by nmeyer ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          There is an old saying – are we managing the countable or managing what counts?

          Management is tough – but ultimately it’s a matter of making sure the job gets done – not somebody’s WPM

        • #3261317

          Who do you think you are

          by wyorkiii ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          I enjoy the computer and do not have to use a keyboard at work. At home my time is my own and who are you to tell me how to use it. As far as being unhealthy that is one of the most a**inine things I have ever heard I have been an Orthopaedic cast technician for 20 years and your supposition is totally rediculous.

        • #3260784

          yworkii – is correct

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          Yes, though I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way.

          BTW: as I understand it about Carpal Tunnel (sp?), it can affect any and all typists or people who use their hands in such a manner. It has to do with the erogonics of the work area and not “how” a person types.

          In fact, if I remember correctly, there was a study done and people who touch type were more lickely because of the position of the wrists. I could be wrong as I read this a few years ago.

        • #3261845

          excuses- incompetent

          by jhawklyn ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          ‘Thank god for the incompetent, without them, where would be be?’ — Twain.

          I’m grateful for the slew of slow typists. I believe I’ve benefited as a direct result. I can type 60-70wpm, and in my work in the computer industry and as a result, I’m often able to prototype and test two or three problem solving ideas while smarter 2 finger typers are trying out their first attempt.

          They may have better odds at getting a correct answer in fewer iterations, but I can iterate *much* faster!

        • #3261677

          You have convinced me! Ineptitude is good!

          by avuncular ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          If you’re a seasoned pro with 20+ years of experience, they’re gonna hire you, even if you type with ONE finger. However, if you are just starting out in the field, this is just another skill that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. And it is easy to learn!
          THAT IS WHO I AM: Someone who thinks that overcoming your ineptitude is far better than making excuses. Learn touch typing! I never regretted it.

        • #3241239

          I would have no object to learning

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          it. Now it’s efectively impossible. Cretinaly it would hurt to get the basics in school when first introduced to a keyboard, and it may help set you apart. But most would be no more likely to choose an IT candidate because they can type than they would a plumber or a nurse. I certainly wouldn’t.
          I’ve no use at all for someone one whou could type up a big invoice after screwing up my house or my death certificate after screwing up my medication, simply becuase they can type fast.

        • #3239948

          Hey, adzip has his own life attitude

          by asleghel ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          and I don’t think this has to gain extra-weight. Don’t take it personally.

        • #3239417

          The REAL evil people

          by bbbaldie ·

          In reply to All the excuses…

          It’s not two-fingered typists. It’s those bleeping bleeps who run the toilet paper BEHIND the roll. Here’s hoping we can hunt down and eradicate ’em all . . .

        • #3262039

          Horse Hockey!

          by windsorfox ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          I do not need to type that fast. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t, I never tested to see. But like someone else said, I am not a secretary and I am not a programer, so I don’t type enough to waste any time. Secondly, I have seen several middle schoolers that not only could hit 30 wpm, but could possibly out type you, using two – three fingers. Go ahead and hire the guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing but can type 80 wpm.

        • #3261518

          Perhaps, but…

          by metalfro ·

          In reply to Horse Hockey!

          the guy who knows what he’s doing AND can type 80 WPM is probably the guy who’s going to get hired unless the guy who can’t type knows a fair amount more than the typist.

        • #3261490

          I’m not sure where you got your soapbox…

          by ChrisP547 ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          but I think it’s time to get off it. If the person in question is your direct report, then take whatever action you think appropriate and they’ll put up with. Otherwise… relax a little.

          And, FYI… 30wpm? I am a self-taught typist as there wasn’t a keybaording class in my high school (in fact, in ANY school back then) and Mavis Beacon didn’t come out until 1988 I believe. I had to start learning as WordStar was my Pascal editor my freshman year in college. I still hunt sometimes, and even look at the keyboard…

          …and manage over 60wpm.

        • #3261411

          Take some time.

          by phil ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          What’s the rush man? Is your life so full, typing a few extra letters a minute means that much to you? Do you drive home at 155mph as well so you can save 5 minutes? Do you fast forward films so you can watch them in half the time? Do you buy a book and read just the last page to save time?

          Perhaps slow typing gives time to think. Unless you are paid to copy type I don’t see the issue.

          Being a techie means that most of us are employed for tech knowledge not typing skills.

          Perhaps you should write to MS and get them to add typing speed to their MCSE exams. You may answer all the questions correctly but you fail as you only achieved 19 wpm. Not real world.

        • #3261329

          What the hell…

          by sohohelpdesk ·

          In reply to Take some time.

          Hey Phil, I am with you on this one 100%, buy time we all learn how to type with all our fingers we will be speaking to the PCs. It is my job to make sure the dame keyboard works for the people that type 80+ wpm. Can you imagine a typing test on a MCSE exam, scary thought LOL O’ ya I typed this with all my fingers @ differnt times…

        • #3260806

          Reply To: Typing

          by desmodeus ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          I can do 45 WPM on 2 fingers (of course that’s probably because I actually learnt how to touch type I just prefer not to do it that way).

        • #3241309

          some CAN do 30 wpm…

          by swbrown ·

          In reply to Because unless you can do 30 WPM …

          Yes, I am guilty of only using 2-3 fingers for typing. I know I’m not the greatest, but in some cases speed just isn’t everything. The last typing test I took rated me at 44 wpm; that’s a heck of a lot better than the 28 I was expecting. Not to mention, the slow typing speed helps me to think about what I am putting it down, instead of having to go back later with the mouse to delete or even rewrite whole sections.
          Just putting in my 2??

        • #3262174

          2 Finger vs. Touch Typing

          by brian.giordano ·

          In reply to Some people

          I used to type very quickly using two or four fingers, but I could only get to maybe 45 or 50 words per minute – and I still had to look at the keyboard while I was typing. This meant that if I was copying something, I typed much slower because I had to stop every few words to look at what I was trying to copy.

          I decided to teach myself to touch type without looking at the keyboard. My typing speed was MUCH slower at first and I still had to look at the keyboard constantly until I learned to type. I admit that I am not one of the fastest typists around, but I can type 45-60 wpm without looking at the keyboard – which is great for me. If I had to type reports and emails all day, I am sure my typing speed would increase, but my job does not require me to do alot of typing.

          If you have to do a lot of typing in your line of work, take typing course, or at least try to start typing using all of your fingers. It will be very slow and aggravating at first, but after a while of practicing, it will make your life much easier.

        • #3262749

          I do the same

          by rayjeff ·

          In reply to Typing for IT pros

          ” I can do a combination of multi-finger typing while looking at the keys and typing without looking and the reports I write have longer due dates so I don’t need to worry about speed.”

          I type the same or very similar to you. I tell anyone when they see type that I didn’t learn how to type in high school. You can hear me “tip-tap” and people this that I’m typing so wonderfully.

          I wouldn’t mind actually learning to type. I consider it amazing that anyone can teach themselves to type without having been formally trained. I see the Mavis Bacon cds all the time, but never have gotten one.

        • #3262739

          Reply To: Typing

          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to I do the same

          I taught myself how to type less than 10 years ago. The only time I need to look at the keyboard is if I have to type a series of numbers or symbols using the top row of the keyboard. Other than that, the keys are usually in the same place every day so I’d think that some people could be a little more proficient. My job doesn’t really require that I type a lot either but I do try to keep in practice for those times that I may need to type something that’s really long in a short amount of time.

        • #3262673

          I know where youre coming from

          by piers ·

          In reply to I do the same

          I taught myself to touch type with all fingers about 20 years ago. I had a job that required long cobol compilations and while the programs compiled I took the terminal off line and was able just to type out from my newspaper. I am extremely glad I did so. I am primarily a programmer and I couldnt do my job nearly as well if my typing didnt keep up with my thinking. Im not sure that touch typing is necessary, I think some two finger typists are quite fast enough, but I am certainly glad I made the effort. I think they should probably teach it in college to CompEd students, I suspect the keyboard will be around a while longer. On the other hand my kids are pretty proficient without having had any formal lessons so maybe the next generation wont have any problems. Perhaps the next thing would be to get away from the silly QWERTY format which was actually introduced to slow typists down

        • #3262068

          QWERTY isn’t the programming panacia

          by ravenpoem ·

          In reply to I know where youre coming from

          I have been touch typing for 30 years.(I’m 43) On an IBM selectric my top speed was 140wpm no mistakes. When I started using computer keyboards my wpm dropped dramatically and it has taken years of practice to get my speed anywhere close to what it was. (do you hear me designers? I want a selectric swoop) I am not a programmer but on occasion I have to use those particular skills. At that point my QWERTY training goes out the window and I might as well type with two fingers. To all you two finger typists, I salute you! I say “Whatever gets the job done!”

        • #3261480

          Keyboards and fingers

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to QWERTY isn’t the programming panacia

          I can well understand why your typing speed dropped dramatically when you switched from an IBM electric (golfball I presume) to computer keyboards.

          After trying numerous keyboards I have found that the original IBM keyboard, now perhaps 10 – 15 years old enables the fastest and most accurate typing for myself (I use the correct keys but have to glance down from time to time).

          And as for fingers — when I worked as a journalist back in the 1960s, typing skills were not mandatory, and some of the most senior reporters flashed along with two fingers. In fact I think there was only one fully competent touch typist amongst the whole reporting staff. And this is an industry in which typing speed is relevant.

          I once had a computer student who was aged 76 and had never used a typewriter. Very quickly he learned to type more accurately than myself using only one finger.

          And just a general comment based on some of the postings in this discussion — obviously productivity is the criteria and if the required productivity is achieved using one, two, three or however many fingers, then I can’t see a problem.

        • #3261464

          If you think you’ve got it hard

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to QWERTY isn’t the programming panacia

          Just try jumping between different keyboards all the time! 😉

          There is no standard even when the same maker is involved sure the letters are all in the same places but the other things that are so important are all over the place on different keyboards it’s a real nightmare and instead of using all my fingers to type in this situations I’m reduced to two fingers and looking at the keyboard as I need to find different characters that are absolutely necessary for my work just try typing in dir/w on 20 different keyboards and you’ll see exactly what I mean! 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3241869

          Good Grief

          by lcave ·

          In reply to Typing for IT pros

          You obviously don’t have nearly enough to do. Go see an admin if you want fast typing. IT PROS have more than enough to do and learn without sweating the small stuff.

      • #3262424

        Just can’t type

        by techie7 ·

        In reply to MYOB

        I’ve been using computers for 20 years and still can’t type well. I have gone through 2 versions of Mavis Beacon and I still can’t get the hang of typing.

        Not sure what to do next!


        • #3262273

          This is funny

          by richards_unsubcribe ·

          In reply to Just can’t type

          This post is good for a good yuk… I’d probably give Mavis Bacon a heart attack… but I get by maybe at 40wpm… I doubt that many techies are blazingly fast typists but you sure as hell don’t need 80wpm data entry keyboarding skills…so bloody what?? So long as you can fill in the boxes or write the scripts…maybe do the odd report, who the hell cares?? I doubt that there are many 1 finger hunt-n-peck artists on here anyway.

          Anyway my handwriting is so bad…looks like a doctors scrawl, and that’s baaad, I live for the keyboard.

        • #3262690

          need incentive to learn

          by ngl0578 ·

          In reply to Just can’t type

          Much of the time, we cause ourselves to fail learning something because we don’t have a strong enough incentive.
          example, I didn’t pick up decent speed at typing till I started getting involved in an online MUD where speed was essential to survival. mavis beacon did help me learn the essentials, but constant typing trying to be faster than someone else is what pushed me up past 50wpm error free. (last tx workforce test)
          Just can’t type
          I’ve been using computers for 20 years and still can’t type well. I have gone through 2 versions of Mavis Beacon and I still can’t get the hang of typing.

          Not sure what to do next!


          From: techie7 Date: 04/28/05

        • #3262102

          some ways to do it

          by chache17 ·

          In reply to Just can’t type

          I did this at the job: forced my self to watch the screen, no excuses, just look at the monitor and if I missed, tried getting it corrected without watching the keyboard.
          I know anyone can do it at home, but doing it while at work forced me to memorize the keys quickly. Don’t do it during crunch time, though.

          There surely are other ideas, like covering your keys with small pieces of duct tape, but the feeling is not the same and you may still cheat.
          If typing lessons are not for you (like me) and you really want to learn it, you can devise your own method.

          BTW, I still have to improve, since I’m not 100% error free, but that gave me the hang of it, now I only watch the keyboard to see the capslock and numlock status.

          G-luck !

      • #3262301

        DYSLEXIC yet 40+ years in IT ! ! !

        by mr_mjfoster ·

        In reply to MYOB

        In the early 1950’s DYSLEXIA had not yet been identified as such. All I knew was that it took me ten times as long as everyone else to read and study. That did not stop me from completing Post-Graduate work in Mathematics; a degree program in “Computer Science” did NOT yet exist.
        In the 1960’s when I started programming mainframes, no programmer or systems analyst typed their own work! We wrote code and handed it over to the “Key-Punch” operator. Thank God, because I couldn’t work with a keyboard!
        Over the years, I have created several systems which have gained national attention and distribution, ALL without being able to type!
        PLEASE take into consideration those of us who have certain disabilities when making claims of frustration over our inabilities… some of us more than make up for the apparent shortcoming.
        Thank you.
        Michael J. Foster

        • #3262581

          not everyone can type well.

          by jetgirl_kj ·

          In reply to DYSLEXIC yet 40+ years in IT ! ! !

          I’m more concerned with accuracy than speed. I don’t exactly touch-type either, but I do type quickly enough to hold a decent high speed IM conversation without resorting to very much “doodspeak”. Even though I don’t touch type, I can tell if I’ve hit a wrong key. I’ve tried to type at a higher speed, but sometimes I’m a little uncoordinated when trying to do different things with both hands at the same time. (I can’t play a musical instrument for the same reason) But honestly, why should IT people need to type faster than 30 WPM or so. Isn’t that what our companies hired all those administrative assistants, data entry folks and clerks that we take care of to do?
          If you write code for a living, then it certainly becomes necessary, but I’m not a programmer.

      • #3262247

        im a hunt-n-pecker … yet I typed this @ 1000wpm!

        by amosbob ·

        In reply to MYOB


      • #3262243

        Mavis taught me how to type!

        by pos_techie ·

        In reply to MYOB

        Way back in ’88 I took a typing class in high school that was just basic typing, one semester. The point of the class was to teach you the keys so you wouldn’t hunt and peck when you were in college and trying to type a 1000 word paper! It still wasn’t enough.

        When I left college and needed a real job, long before I ended up a techie, I got my speed up from about 15 words per minute to about 35 in a few days by just using Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

        That’s the best thing I ever did to help my career. That got me the job I was trying to get my typing speed up to apply for, which was where I got handed the network administrator responsiblities that have brought me to my last three positions in tech support. In fact the last two positions I had, both in call centers, one small and one large, specified a typing speed of 30 words per minute or more.

        Think about it, with call tracking software no company needs a support person who can’t type. They would spend most of the day just trying to catch up entering their calls and would speak to half the people that a tech who can type proficiently would.

        I am just amazed how many techs would overlook such a basic thing. And it doesn’t take that long to get that speed up once you have the home keys down!

        • #3262770

          I agree

          by pearlyvictoria ·

          In reply to Mavis taught me how to type!

          Basically, typing for speed involves reading the whole word as
          you type instead of each letter of the word. And getting the
          fingers set on the home keys is the other key.

          I learned to type in high school and when I follow the rules, I do
          very well. Now as far as entering numbers for jobs in Excel and
          such, without looking, that’s a whole nother story. Lack of
          confidence and hating to have to redo a column because of a
          wrong entry, makes me use the hunt and peck for that. Rather, a
          look at the keyboard sort of thing…

        • #3262687

          Let excel read numbers back to you

          by cmb from omaha ·

          In reply to I agree

          If you have Excel 2003 (not sure about earlier versions), you can set the program up to read the data back to you as you enter it. This saved me a lot of time & aggravation the last time I had to “bang in” several hundred (mostly numerical) records. HTH

        • #3262836

          comes with passion

          by adeoti2 ·

          In reply to I agree

          Never learnt to type…….never used mavis beacon…… but then I’m pretty fast with my uncultured fingers…….guess typing skills in speed and accuracy just increase the more times you get to use them…and with levels of commitment

      • #3261905

        Sixty Nine Years

        by tmradius ·

        In reply to MYOB

        Although I don’t like to see mistakes in any writing, I can understand that if you are not a touch typist, it takes a lot of effort to type properly with one or two fingers. I’ve been at it for 69 years but arthritis in my fingers slows me down to less than 100 wpm. As long as the techie is communicating what he wants to say, I’ll forgive him. I always use spellcheck (not here) in my typing and for that reason I never make mistgrakes. (!)

      • #3261848

        the real reason I type slow.

        by johngregor ·

        In reply to MYOB

        My typing speed has nothing to do with my keyboarding skills. I find that, in programs like mavis, I can hit speeds of 60-70 wpm (small words with a tailwind). But in practice I usually only chug along at 15-25 wpm. the reason is that this is the speed at which my slow little brain is figuring out the problem. In other words, typing skills are not what is constraining me. I bet for most technical problems faster typing would not significantly increase productivity.

      • #3261770

        Punctuation, spelling and grammar

        by gsg ·

        In reply to MYOB

        More important than typing skills, are punctuation, spelling, and grammar, as well as composition skills. For example, I’m working with a global vendor of medical systems, and I constantly get documents with mis-spellings such as “valadation”, wrong usage (to, too and two; there, their and they’re), emails with all lower case, or all caps, no punctuation, or just rambling thoughts.

        I have been known to send emails back to sales people with a note telling them that I will look at their product when all of the mis-spellings in their email and the BROCHURE from marketing have been corrected.

    • #3244479

      I tpye bilndingly fast

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to Typing

      but i#mn ot veyr acurrate.

      • #3244453


        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        Oz may have you beat on both counts 🙂

        • #3243299

          Bite me

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Oz

          I couldn’t give a crap how I type on an intenet forum. When I am writing copy and building sites, I am concerned. I get paid for that, I don’t get paid for this, thus I also don’t pay attention.

          But as for the poster who started this thread, it’s all fine and dandy to expect everyone to type like you, regardless of their position, but can you outsell the sales reps? Can you out market the marketing manager?

          Should they then be complaining that, if you are working in an office with them all, you should be able to close C-Level business and prepare a 30 page tender under strict client guidelines?

          It’s always the poeple who are good at something that mock others while they are completely incapable of turning the tables.

          As for efficiency, if it takes a sales manager 45 minutes to write an email, the boss doesn’t care because it only takes him 20 minutes to close a $400,000.00 deal.

          When someone is in a data entry, receptionist or administrative assitant position, their speed and accuracy is what separates them from a less efficient employee, THAT’S why it matters to some and not others.

          What a stuck up, toffee nosed, and overy arrogant/popmus comment!

          IT staff and Administrators thinking they actually make the company money and keep it afloat, whatever next?

        • #3243165

          Aside from that…

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Bite me

          He should have started his sentence with capitalization 🙂

        • #3244343

          And there is such a thing

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Aside from that…

          And there is such a thing as an ENTER key. This is used at the end of that new thing called a PARAGRAPH.

          Used in ancient times to group ideas together, today just used as a decoration and so keyboard manufacturers can claim they have more keys so can charge you more for them.

        • #3244320

          I still get

          by jck ·

          In reply to And there is such a thing

          my small computer parts from Big Lots:

          Scroll PS/2 mouse: $3.99
          107 keyboard: $7.99
          3-6ft USB2 cables: $6.99

          I honestly thought about starting a computer shop, and buying parts at Big Lots, taking the price tags off, marking them up, and making a profit.

          So price isn’t an issue with keyboards…just the OSes.

        • #3244105

          Look at a cordless MS set

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I still get

          Set you back $100 for a mouse and keyboard.

          Then they put all the fancy shortcut keys for people that can’t click on an icon on their desktop. That whole mouse thinge is just too complecated.

          NOTE: I was being as sarcastic as possible about the Enter key and why it was put on the keyboard as our discussion poster there while complaining about people not knowing how to type, was unable to type.

          Guess if you have to explain a joke it wasn’t very good. Shoot. And I thought I did good on that one! Ah well, they can’t all be gems.

        • #3245785

          It’s okay jdclyde

          by jessie ·

          In reply to I still get

          *I* understood you, even if no one else did… I guess we’re just too high-brow for them!

        • #3245777


          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I still get

          You bring me joy.

          There you go, giving again.

        • #3243794


          by wdickerson ·

          In reply to And there is such a thing

          Hats off to ya. That’s really funny…For Dalin@…maybe should sign us techs to the tech-o-type course. “Since takking the tek typng coorse my typin has improved mmeasurabaaeliy.” Don’t we have enough problems with equipment, users management…

        • #3243789

          I think that was the point . . .

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Tech-o-type

          of almost all the posters points of view. We all keep trying to explain that typing is not the most essential skill for technical professionals. It may be needed in other job functions, but not as much in ours.

          As a programmer typing fast and well is only about 10% of what I need to succeed at my job. I have also worked in IT management, Consulting, and many other roles throughout my career and job history. I learned to type well, but I find that it doesn’t help me program well. I am sure the same could be said for other areas like Networking, Help Desk, etc.

        • #3243765

          I get the joke, but …

          by mlscout ·

          In reply to And there is such a thing

          some people really DON’T use that key! It hurts my brain to watch someone fill in a field, move from keyboard to mouse to click OK, move back to keyboard to fill in another field, move back to mouse to click OK … etc. (Same for TAB key)

        • #3262088

          same for me, too !

          by chache17 ·

          In reply to I get the joke, but …

          For IT people and programmers, I can’t understand the switch from keyboard to mouse then back to the keyboard, just to move to a different field in forms and apps.

          In a way, it’s like flipping the notebook upside down just to turn the page.

          There should be a lesson in tech schools about keyboard shortcuts, haha ! (at least the TAB key).

          But for other proffesionals, it would be good to learn about them, too.

        • #3243159

          Fully agree OZ

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Bite me

          It is the paper pushers in the office who think that they are making the money when actually all they are doing is processing a bit of data and producing the occasional invoice.

          If you are in a computer related field then a good typing speed and with accuracy does come in-handy but really is not essential. I would hardly expect any of my techs to be expert typists as they repair the machines but I really do expect the person who runs the office to do things correctly as that is what she is there for to clean up the bills that are submitted by the techs and send out invoices that get paid promptly without unnecessary questions about mistakes that are on the bill. 😉

          Just try to get a programmer to be able to type correctly it is always an interesting thing to observe. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3243897

          Tit for Tat.

          by psifiscout ·

          In reply to Fully agree OZ

          I have been readily criticized by the speedier bunch for my slow typing speed (including my wife. She types 100-120 wpm error free). However, in college I took a typing class where a good number of the clerical “experts” came in to class with well practiced speed typing skills already intact. However, they had a hard time typing the class exercises because they were so computer illiterate that they couldn’t get the course software open to complete the class exercises.

          “Each according to his own gifts” (Capt. Spock)

        • #3262299

          Spelling counts, two

          by overcharge ·

          In reply to Fully agree OZ

          Seriously, or not, I think that pulling those routine designators and passwords out of thin air, or whatever orifice, lowers the ability to spell.

          So what….

          As long as I don’t crash the deadline, I don’t really care. Speed kills.

        • #3244349

          I agree and still laughed!

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Bite me

          overy. hahahahahA!

          I know what you meant, but that is so much funnier!

          I have tears in my eyes after that. Truely a highlight!

        • #3243871

          I agree with but….

          by tpernas ·

          In reply to Bite me

          That was a little harsh (bite me) but I agree with you 100%. Creating a policy forcing people to know how to type is a little petty. Usage, monitoring, and internet usage policies are important. Complying with Sarbanes Oxley etc etc. Spend less time worrying about people’s typing skills. Let supervisors deal with productivity

        • #3243856

          A-Men to that!!!!

          by sbillings ·

          In reply to Bite me

          You’ll get a major ditto from me on that one. I can’t type all that well but then again, I’m not paid to type. I work in for a large medical practice and we have our own in-house transcription department. THEY (the ones that work in that department) need to type really fast and accurately. My job is to keep their PCs running— For the rest of us, there’s spell check!!!!

        • #3243788

          Don’t forget

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to A-Men to that!!!!

          Grammer Check too!

        • #3262543

          “Grammer” is a town in Indiana (apparently)

          by kahlesit ·

          In reply to Don’t forget

          …I think you mean grammar.


        • #3262512

          Never said I could spell

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to “Grammer” is a town in Indiana (apparently)

          🙂 Just shows I need that spell check here at TR too. I usually check my spelling or put (sp?) after it if I am not sure. Guess I didn’t catch this one. 🙁

        • #3262274

          SpellBound 0.7.3

          by marc erickson ·

          In reply to “Grammer” is a town in Indiana (apparently)

          What is SpellBound?
          SpellBound is a port of the spellchecker code and user interface from the Mozilla Suite’s Composer that enables spell checking in web forms such as html textarea / input elements (html input password elements are not checked by SpellBound) and rich text form elements. This allows you to spell check forms (e.g. message board posts, blog entries, wysiwyg, etc.) before submitting them when using your Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Suite browser.

        • #3262246

          Thanks – Spellbound

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to “Grammer” is a town in Indiana (apparently)

          Thanks. I use firefox. I hadn’t installed spellbound. I will have to do that.

        • #3243842

          I’m not a secretary…..

          by technicallyright ·

          In reply to Bite me

          Way to go Oz and well put.

          I’ve been typing with two fingers and a thumb with my tongue sticking partly out for twenty years and have done pretty good. If I really wan’t something typed quickly I’ll get the secretary to type it.

        • #3243782


          by oneshotstop ·

          In reply to I’m not a secretary…..

          I’ve got to agree here. I’ve been in the business for over 20 years. I use about five of my ten when typing. But I’m pretty good at it. My management has never complained (about my typing anyway).

          I figure, if you start a thread with the statement, “I know this is petty”. Then you probably shouldn’t mention it and find something constructive to do.

          (Let’s see, seven sentences in fifteen minutes …. not bad!)

        • #3261343

          60 WPM in 30 days

          by yazzix ·

          In reply to I’m not a secretary…..

          For two finger typists, the problem with Mavis Beacon’s typing lessons is that it teaches the wrong keyboard. The QWERTY keyboard is indiginously clumsy. The revised Dvorak keyboard allows conversion from 2 finger typing to 30 WPM 10 finger typing in one day and 60 WPM for most people in 30 days. Up until XP, the Dvorak keyboard was available on Windows. Now it has to be obtained as shareware.

          My daughter went from failing to learn the QWERTY keyboard to typing 120 WPM on the Dvorak keyboard in 6 months.

        • #3243832

          Agree speed doesn’t meant accuracy

          by ronaldromeo ·

          In reply to Bite me

          In my line of work I saw many engineers fast typing but at the same time making fast mistakes configuring servers, routers or other devices. They trust in there fast typing and don?t put attention on the small typing errors.
          I personally type with 2 fingers and after 20 years on this industry I?m happy with my typing speed and my record of happy customers

        • #3243754

          Good post, Oz_Media !

          by ssmbe ·

          In reply to Bite me

          Couldn’t agree more ! I took over a project that was started by a person whose typing made the keyboard humm. WOW, was I impressed. The app always crashed but it was fixed by someone who can’t type very fast at all, ME. I helped save the client his investmnet of over $ 200,000.

        • #3243749

          Disabled Vet Turned Tech

          by sgtrock63 ·

          In reply to Bite me

          If you have to worry about typing skills, man you must not be doing your IT job. As a disabled Vet and limitations to what I can do. I know my limits, adapt, and overcome. I might peck one finger at a time while looking at the keyboard, But I do it well.’Nuff Said. Lets get back to the real issues that really makes Tech life interesting.
          SgtRock USArmy

        • #3262531

          I agree

          by jrisner ·

          In reply to Bite me

          I agree with OZ, what he said is one of the wisest responses I have seen recently. It doesn’t matter if you can type 500 wpm as a programmer if you cannot get programs to work. Sometimes it is about quality of work and not quantity. I have seen guys that use one finger to type code all day and their programs ran the company. I have also seen people that type 120 but takes them longer to type code because they are going back and correcting mistakes or that they don’t take the time to think about the statements they are typing.

        • #3262513

          Good points but CHILL!!!

          by peter.langer ·

          In reply to Bite me

          You touched on some good points but (WOW!) relax Dude! Don’t have a cow man!

          There are a number of reasons why IT guys should have some bare minimun typing skills.

          Confidence: some command over the keyboard helps the users to have confidence in the tech; if he is hunting for keys this would not reflect real well on the IT Dept.

          Security: if the tech types slowly with one or digits, it would be very easy for an unauthorized person to glean admin passwords.

          Efficiency: IT techs have a need for reasonably speedy typing. It doesn’t have to be blazing fast but they should be able to document their work, communicate via email and enter commands fairly quickly. This is necessary precisely because they are not directly responsible for any $400,000 deals.

        • #3262442

          Reply To: Typing

          by hcetrepus ·

          In reply to Good points but CHILL!!!

          Ok so the secertary here who can type 80wpm should replace me as tech? Had the initial thread that started this not been dripping with so much holier than thou arrogance, more may have conceded his point.

          I can’t type. I CAN get around on a keyboard. Mavis? Online gaming taught me what I need to know. I really think if someone suggested what he did to me, he’d lose teeth.

          “self taught finger poker for 25 years…..”

        • #3262733

          typing and job performance?

          by dalin ·

          In reply to Bite me

          apparently some has missed my point. also, i never expressed, implied, or mocked anyone who cannot type.
          i’m saying that it’s a win-win situation because the company is more efficient AND it’s easier on the one typing because it’s a hassle/pain/annoying to peck or have to constantly look up at the screen and down at the keyboard over and over again. it increases eye strain, repetitive motion injury, headaches. i didn’t think this was a competition on who can make the most money or a name calling game as you put it ‘stuck up,…’. you don’t know me and i question why you take this so personally. if you hire someone to write a memo, they could probably use a speech recognition program to translate it into text but i would think it would be best if the person would know how to write.
          there was a time when i didn’t know how to type and it took allot longer to get things done AND it was more difficult to use a computer. i don’t see what’s so difficult or unreasonable about learning how to use the keyboard if you use the keyboard every day all day long. no one’s saying that you have to type 100+ words a minute with x% accuracy. obviously, this would benefit employee and employer.

        • #3262609

          Well as most of my work is in

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to typing and job performance?

          Building/Reloading computers just how is it important that I have a great typing speed when I have to entering all junk that passes for MS Product Keys and Activation Codes? 😉

          When I’m entering these in it’s always a one finger look at the keyboard while holding the COA or keyboard in the other hand and reading the bunch of rubbish that is required to enter. 🙂

          There are times that I can type much faster but really I don’t need this all that often as I employ someone to do my monthly accounts and invoices as well as the quotes that are required and any Insurance Reports. After all they are far more familiar with the required programs than I am so why should I be wasting my time learning these when I could be out making money for the business? 😉

          Also because I work for several different small business I refuse to even look at their accounting packages as I never want to be in a position of being accused of telling their competitors what their company secrets are so the very first thing that I always make clear to these people is that while I’m more than happy to manage their networks I really never want to be put in the position of needing to access their accounting packages which they accept and are even thankful for but then always proceed to ask me just how one works or how to deploy something in the accounting program. While I’m happy to explain the basics just because you work in IT doesn’t give you the Instant Expert Status in every program that has ever been written. 🙂

          When I run into some problems that I do not know I always ring the software provider for a solution and almost always I find that the people have done this first and then mucked up the installation. Like with MYOB they have to install the program on different computers but then access the DATA file on one computer but they just install the program and then forget about linking it to the Data file on the other computer and without knowing exactly what they have done it is very hard to fix. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3262730

          Reply To: Typing

          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to Bite me

          It’s not about what position you’re in but whether you’re a well-rounded employee and if you care about improving yourself in your job.

          I believe the original post was specifically addressing those who have to spend 8+ hrs at a keyboard typing and, for no good reason other than the fact that they don’t care, don’t make an effort to learn. If outside sales people don’t have to sit at a computer all day, then it stands to reason that they may not have to be able to type that well. But, in my opinion, if you have to sit down at a keyboard at all (and I’ve even told my children this) you should at the very least learn where the keys are so that if you have to peck, you can at least do it with some decency.

        • #3262024

          On another planet

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Reply To: Typing

          Just because I’m looking at it doesn’t mean that I don’t know things are.

          Today (and for the last two years), I used a keyboard designed for VMS and another standard PC one . A bit of work on one, then a bit on the other, back and forth. As a programmer there are special keys I need to use in different places on the key board dependant on which machine I’m on. So I don’t look at the thing to see where the key is but to remind myself where the ‘ell I’m at.
          There’s a vast differnce between typing out sentences in your native language and typing statements in several different programming languages.
          I don’t give a crap how many wpm you can do in english, if you can’t do the same on a cyrillic keyboard and then alternate regularly with no loss in speed.

          At one point I was using a HP terminal a VMS workstation and a PC at the same time. Now if you can put your finger on the Send key on all three without looking, I’ll start paying attention.

        • #3261839

          You missed the point

          by nyabdns ·

          In reply to Bite me

          The point is rudimentary skills, like keeping your mouth shut when your eating, learning your ABC’s, basic math and washing your hands after going potty, not being a Donald Trump Jr.

      • #3243160

        Neil be like me

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        I tell everyone my typing speed is 80 mistakes per minute. 😀

        That way no one ever expects me to do their work! 😉

        Col ]:)

      • #3243888

        Not acurate…

        by tenyrtony ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        But very funny.

      • #3262497

        RE: I tpye bilndingly fast

        by tiger1951 ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        ROFL @ neilb! Thanks for a great belly laugh! I have noticed this over the years but thought it was some kind of quirk. Before I ever thought about web dev, I worked in an office and HAD to type letters, memos, etc.

        When my kids were heavy into chatting, I urged them to put that otherwise useless time into a productive effort by learning to type by touch. My logic was “You can chat MUCH faster that way!” Hey, it worked 🙂

      • #3262376


        by holdcraftm ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        em rehtien

      • #3262327

        Who Cares!!!!

        by judger48193 ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        I took a typing class when in high school in the middle of the last century. But when I saw the male typing teacher allow the girls to type half of the speed test before he even said start, I told him mentally to go screw himself and quit.

        I am not a one finger typist. I actually use about 3 fingers per hand and CANNOT type without looking at my fingers. SO WHAT!!! I have done more coding, testing, emails, reports, spreadsheets, etc. in my 40+ years in IT than many responding to this taunt. I always review my emails and writing for grammar, spelling (what are spell checkers for anyway) and content and consider myself a very articulate person.

        I have seen many extremely fast typists that spend at least half of their time on the Delete and Backspace keys so their effective rate is not that great and many are not that articulate either. Most techies couldn’t write their way out of a freshman English class and reading their emails and documents makes me p… But they sure can type fast.

        I repeat – SO WHAT!!!! WHO CARES!!!!

        • #3262816

          Multiple exclamation marks

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Who Cares!!!!

          are the sign of a deranged mind, so they say! Perhaps yoga, whisky or a suitable tranquiliser?


      • #3241060

        shame hear acctualley :)

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to I tpye bilndingly fast

        I actually do type pretty fast. But I sacrifice in a large amount of typos I make on a routine basis. So even when you read the bibles I type in some discussions, it actually does not take me that long to type it (as long as the thoughts are streaming in key with my fingers)…no what takes me long on these posts is the amount of effort and time to re-edit the typos.

        Often I don’t even do that….no offense guys…but TR isn’t a high priority for me to be anal on spelling or grammar….my reports and documents for work are, but not here.


    • #3244478

      not so common sense

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Typing

      What can you do? People are idiots.

      • #3243904

        That’s a bit rough!

        by soup bones ·

        In reply to not so common sense

        Stress Junkie’s a bit harsh saying people are idiots.
        People are people. There’s a bit of bad in the best of us and a bit of good in the worst. It just depends where you look as to what you’ll see.

        There, that was typed mistake free – only took 13 minutes.

    • #3244433

      Yep… you’re right.

      by jessie ·

      In reply to Typing

      That’s pretty petty.

      • #3243831

        So If I Cannot Type …. I Should not be Allowed to use a Computer?

        by ·

        In reply to Yep… you’re right.

        So if I understand this correctly only people who can type should be allowed to use a computer. I have been using computers for over 20 years and no I cannot type unless I look at the keyboard. So because I cannot “officially” type I should not be allowed to use a computer at work or at home. Gee, lets see if I cannot use it at work I would have to resort to columnar style ledger paper and a Bic pen to create the myriad number of reports that I create to track and analyze my department?s metrics. Which would take considerable more time than my using a computer. BTW I type at about 40 wpm while looking at the keyboard. Good enough to get me through the day and even more important that my manager considers me as a valuable team member and recognizes that with respectable salary increases and merit awards.
        Your question / observation is petty and pompous. I think you either don’t have a worthwhile job or are in a position where you don’t have enough to fill your day. Get a life!

        • #3243773


          by scooper ·

          In reply to So If I Cannot Type …. I Should not be Allowed to use a Computer?

          The ability to type without looking at the keyboard isn’t important for all computer related jobs. The ability to do the job effeciently is. A typist doing transcription is one job and a facilities maintenance person logging reports or materials requests is another. Fit the skills needed to the job to be done.
          I often find myself looking at the keyboard while composing correspondence and don’t want to lose the concept that I am trying to convey to the reader.

        • #3262541


          by gary ·

          In reply to So If I Cannot Type …. I Should not be Allowed to use a Computer?

          I was going to reply to the original dribble but you said it all. Sounds like someone with not enough to do. You can type junk all day long at 100 wpm but its still junk.

        • #3262461

          The myriads Are Coming! The Myriads Are Coming!

          by speed diva ·

          In reply to So If I Cannot Type …. I Should not be Allowed to use a Computer?

          Timothy, Timothy…

          I can’t fault your typing speed. But please never tell someone you create a “myriad number of reports.” “Myriad” IS a number.

          [myriad = innumerable; sometimes 10,000]

          Now don’t you wish typing were your worst problem?

    • #3243382


      by jbaker ·

      In reply to Typing

      I have been using a keyboard since the early 80’s. I do not hunt and peck, but I do look at the keyboard. And no, my fingers are not where the teachers say they should be. I can type between 40 and 60 wpm, using my modified hunt and peck. It is stupid that I do not learn how to type “correctly”, you say? I have been doing it this way for so long that I do not think that I could learn how to type properly now….

      • #3243321

        You’d be surprised!

        by grbeckmeyer ·

        In reply to Hmmm

        I did the the hunt and peck thing for a few years on the old C64 before taking typing class in high school, and I think it really gave me an advantage…I think I was doing around 70 wpm with fairly high accuracy.

      • #3245847

        Reply To: Typing

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to Hmmm

        I’d say that if the letters arreared on the screen as you intended, that you typed correctly 🙂

        • #3245804


          by jessie ·

          In reply to Reply To: Typing

          If the letters “arreared” on the screen, does that mean you could be in default for back-letters? What does it mean to have letters in arrears? 😀

        • #3243822

          Letter in arrears

          by bhunsinger ·

          In reply to But?

          I’m afraid that you posted that question in the wrong disscusion
          That would be the thread where the guy was wondering how to deliver his resignation letter.


        • #3262453


          by speed diva ·

          In reply to But?

          Jessie — you gave me another belly laugh in an already hilarious thread. All of you guys rock! (Well, most of you.) (Make that: some of you!)

          –Six Finger Speed Diva

        • #3243795

          “arreared” / “appeared”

          by grover99 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Typing

          Dang keyboard–those “r” and “p” keys are so close together!

    • #3243323

      Typing Policies

      by j.lupo ·

      In reply to Typing

      Unless the job description has a requirement for WPM (words per minute) there shouldn’t be a policy. Certain jobs require that a certain performance level be maintained and to reach it you must type so many WPM. Now, if the job does not have that type of requirement then it shouldn’t matter. It’s that simple.

      I know people that use the one finger method and can type more accurately and faster than I can. I type about 75 words per minute. Of course, my job doesn’t require that, but I can do it when I have to.

      • #3243298

        My ex typed 120 with ease

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Typing Policies

        120WPM, o mistakes with ease, more is she was in a hurry. She was also a principal cellist and legal secretary, I suppose finger dexterity was her benefit.

        But in the same sense, she couldn’t close a ziplock bag of a deal. She couldn’t present her ideas to people, and couldn’t generate revenue for the company. But she could help everyone else do their jobs just fine.

        So there is a need for people who can type fast and accurately, so they can type letters and quotes for those who can’t. But the don’t generate revenue and pay for the jobs people have with the company.

        Many people would be out of work if all staff had excellent typing skills, think yourself lucky.

        • #3243163

          My Bro

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to My ex typed 120 with ease

          My younger brother can type 120 wpm with excellent accuracy also (grew up on IM). So did the Ex’s beneficial finger dexterity have anything to do with getting together with her in the first place Oz? 🙂

        • #3243115


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to My Bro

          That would be my finger dexterity not hers.

          As for your little brother typing like a girlie, ***!!! LOL MUWAAHAHHAHAHAHAHA ]:)

          But I grew up on IM too, I liked Number of The Beast before it went totally commercial but most of the 80’s stuff and especially PIECE of MIND & POWERSLAVE was awesome! So maybe he’s not really a ***, but guys typing just wasn’t cool enough when I went to school. 😉

        • #3243790

          Guys typing in school not cool?

          by grover99 ·

          In reply to No

          I took typing my junior year of high school. Me and 3 other guys (one of them gay) and about 35 girls in the class–that’s not cool? I must have gone out with a dozen of them in the course of the year. I can’t remember how many times I used “hunt and pecker” in a pickup line in that class!

        • #3243781

          Now that’s using . . .

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Guys typing in school not cool?

          the system to your advantage. 🙂 I did something similar in college when I was the only girl in class with 30 – 40 boys. All my computer classes were that way.

          Oh, and cool is what we think it is not what others tell us it is. I rather be an individual then a member of the pack.

        • #3262482

          Mother knew best

          by norman.paden ·

          In reply to Guys typing in school not cool?

          Over 40 years ago, my mother, a typing and shorthand teacher, insisted that I take typing. Since I write a lot of COBOL, I still appreciate her guidance.

        • #3262679

          No it wasn’t

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Guys typing in school not cool?

          We took a split ‘taster’ class in grade 8, it had wood, metal, drafting and home economics (cooking class), a few months of each.

          Home ec was great, our school was right across the street from a HUGE mushroom patch, so we’d make mushroom tea and ‘real’ mushroom pizza and take the rest of the day off, with a couple of the girls from class in tow, but even that wasn’t really cool.

          If you needed to take a cooking class in order to have girls around and dates when you chose to, that was actually pretty sad, far from cool.

      • #3262325


        by afit mng ·

        In reply to Typing Policies

        I alos agree we have a policy for Admin, IT and sect that require 35 WPM, but everyone else does it the best they can, we each have our own area that we are best in.

    • #3243297

      This is High tech?

      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to Typing

      If it matters that much get a voice recognition program and train it. 70 wpm when you think at 10 wpm equals ?

    • #3243221

      Pity the hunt-and-peckers

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to Typing

      I hear what Oz says about sales people who close big $$$ deals don’t need to be great typists. But on the other hand, people who use computers on a regular basis, no matter what their jobs, are only wasting precious time if they have to hunt and peck and then spend additional time correcting their typing errors. Doing the math it seems that good typists probably get more done per productive hour than poor typists.

      Typing should be a required class for all school kids, imho. My nephews and nieces were taught “keyboarding” and they can’t type worth a crap.

      And voice recognition? Viable option at home, maybe, but not in the work place. There’s enough chit-chat interrupting work in cube-hell without people trying to train DragonSpeak.

      • #3243154

        Totally Incorrect

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Pity the hunt-and-peckers

        I know a few salespeople who sell heavy earthmoving equipment and they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the office to use a computer but once they learn the basics like how to turn it on they never want to give them up again. All they need to do is be able to surf the net and send the occasion e-mail with attachments of pictures of equipment that they are selling. I watched one guy close 2.5 Million $ deal with one e-mail and a 20 minute phone call. The e-mail took longer to write than the actual sale but it allowed the customer to get into the office so the e-mail was already waiting for them when they got there. It just didn’t matter if the e-mail was there 10 minutes earlier as it wasn’t an issue and the salesperson couldn’t leave until he got the phone call anyway.

        Or another guy again selling heavy earthmoving equipment who had sold a new excavator 3 months previously which had broken a 50 cent part that was not available so the customer after 4 weeks of down time came in to give him a major serve as he was loosing money hand over fist on what was a new machine not working. He started to tear into the salesman who listened for a bit and then tore right up the customer for not coming to him first when it broke and couldn’t get the part he there and then sold the guy another new piece of equipment that was exactly the same unit for far less than the guy had lost in the 4 weeks that it had not been working and the customer was as happy as a pig in mud.

        Now just how many paper pushers could have handled a customer like that without things ending up in a court action costing millions of $ and no one coming out in front? The way that he handled it kept everyone happy with no ill feelings with anything. And the broken unit was left sitting in the sellers yard until the part arrived 4 months latter but the customer left with a excavator on a float within an hour as that was the time taken to get the necessary Police Permits to move such a large piece of equipment around.

        Col ]:)

        • #3243651

          totally off topic

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to Totally Incorrect

          who gives a flying donut about sales people, we’re talking about people whose jobs require typing, not people for whom typing is not a bona fide requirement of the job, like sales. Besides, everybody knows the only people who go into sales are the ones who can’t handle tech! ;]

        • #3243610

          Try walking into any office today and not see a computer

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to totally off topic

          In sales it is a must and if you read the original posting that this is all about the person wants everyone who uses a computer to be an expert typist. This is just plain unnecessary.

          Being the great tech that you are would you like to deal with a hot under the collar earthmover who has lost a small fortune and is unable to pay his bills because of a cheap broken part that the techs can not get to replace? 🙂

          Just how would you deal with a situation like this without ending up in court for not providing a service to the customer? How would you prevent some form of Legal Action being brought against the company you work for because something new has broken and is not currently repairable? More to the point just how would you attempt to explain this to the user who is relying on that piece of equipment to make a living?

          The position is simply that those in any office environment who push paper around very rarely contribute directly to the companies income they are there as a second string to relieve the workload from the sales staff who are the ones who make the real money. 🙂

          You can think as much as you like that salespeople are failed techs but the reality is without them none of us would have a job to go to and would be unable to pay our bills. If you would be happy sitting at home on Welfare you are welcome to it but I personally prefer to actually work for my money and I do realize just how important any salesperson is to any organization no matter who they are.

          You may not give a flying donut about sales people but they are the ones who keep you in a job and you had better remember that or you’ll very shortly find yourself unemployed as we in IT are only there to lessen the workload for the sales people without them bringing the money to pay for our play toys there would be absolutely no need for our services or the equipment that we maintain.

          Answer me this other than Government can you name just one company that doesn’t rely on sales to keep running?

          Col ]:)

        • #3243598

          Simma donna!

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to Try walking into any office today and not see a computer

          Dude ratchet back the caffeine intake. I’m kidding about sales people. Let’s stipulate: Outside of sales, in any job that requires typing on a computer, good typists are more valuable, more efficient typists than bad typists. That’s what I’m saying.

        • #3243589

          I totally agree with that

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Simma donna!

          But by the same token I’m unwilling to agree that everyone who uses a keyboard should be required to be a high speed typist.

          Different sections of any organization need different skills and that is where I disagree with the original poster who seems to think that everyone who needs to use a computer should be given typing lessons and constantly be required to meet certain levels of ability.

          Sorry but I didn’t notice that I left out all the smiley faces as a form of “Sarcasm Alert.” 😀

          I think I posted it somewhere else in this thread but I did suggest somewhere that you watch a bunch of programmers try to write a letter or do any general office work it is amusing to say the least. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3243418

          Now that’s very true

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I totally agree with that

          My typing isn’t that brilliant, my handwriting makes it look immeasurably better though. A teacher once described it as the path of drunken spider with seven mis-set legs and an overlong crutch.

        • #3245312

          I know that feeling Tony

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I totally agree with that

          My writing is so bad that I can not even read it myself just after I’ve written it so I resorted to typing everything.

          But about a year ago I had to use a typewriter for something and I described that as “Cruel and Inhumane Punishment!” Thank God for computers they just make life so much easier and I don’t have to worry about spelling mistakes any more. 😉

          Back when I was at school or Uni I used to have to do a lot of technical drawings which required everything to be printed so now on the rare occasion when I do write something down it is all printed as I haven’t managed to grasp the fundamentals of running writing that is readable after wards. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3243894

          Different skills, but some should be common

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to I totally agree with that

          HAL, I agree that different jobs require different skills, but don’t you think there are some skills that all successful employees should have in common?

          The abilities to work with others, manage your time, work without constant supervision, and communicate clearly are required regardless of your position if you want to be productive. The ability to effectively use a computer is rapidly becoming an additional required business skill.

          Any tool is more effective when you learn how to use it properly, like a manual transmission or a soldering iron. I’m not saying touch typing should be a job requirement if you work with a computer, but you will be able to use it more efficiently.

          The main problem with “hunt and peck” isyou are looking at the keyboard instead of the screen, so you don’t see what you’re typing. I frequently see hunt-and-peckers looking for the keys they want, not realizing they are keying their password into the username prompt. They hit the Enter key, then wonder why they get a login failure message. I’ve seen others who don’t know how the Shift key works, and think the only way to get a single capital letter is to hit Caps Lock, type the single capital, then turn Caps Lock back off. When that salesman sends out his e-mail full of typographical errors, what impression does that give the customer?

          Companies spend hundreds of dollars per employee annually on training to improve efficiency. I’m always surprised when typing isn’t one of them, since it can be taught relatively cheaply and gives such a bang for the buck in terms of improving productivity. More efficient use of the keyboard means a salesperson could spend less time at the keyboard and more time contacting existingw customers, acquiring new ones, or just squeezing in an earlier tee time.

        • #3262235

          If they hunt and peck

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I totally agree with that

          that means they hardly ever use a keyboard or they’ve never used a keyboard. The former don’t matter and the latter can be trained if felt worth while.
          Just because I don’t type like one of the girls from the secretariat does n’t mean I hunt and peck. If you want to see something give a code listing to a secretary and ask them to type it, unless they are extremely good they’ll slow down a lot because it’s not in a language they are familiar with.
          The reverse is true for developers.

        • #3262597

          Well from my limited observations over 20 +

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I totally agree with that

          Years in the industry and being state service manager for some big Computer companies typing speed was not a requirement for my area when I was at IBM and there I was the state service manager I just had to talk my reports into a Dictaphone and then one of the secretaries transcribed them down. That is what they got paid for to type while I got paid to run the IT Section. I’ve seen some people who should never be allowed near a keyboard but by the same token I’ve seen at least one person who didn’t know how to use a screwdriver now that was far more scary to me than being unable to use a keyboard like one of the secretaries. 😉

          I’ve probably been extremely lucky as every one of my staff doesn’t require me to be constantly looking over their shoulder and is more than capable of doing their job without constant supervision I do not even need to check up on them at all now days although I may occasionally ring them with another job that is required in the area that they are supposed to be in and I quite often need to ring them and demand that they return one of my classic Mercedes when they have stolen it to look better than the company cars that I supply. 😀

          But I do not expect them to be instant experts in every program that was ever written either and it would be silly to as there are many specialized programs that just crop up in my line of work which we may only see once a year. :p

          What we do most is install new software and there it is required to enter nothing better then junk into the computer to not only install the program but to activate it as well when this is required so in a case like loading a new MS program a string of 6 X 6 figure alpha numeric strings is hardly something that can be entered in the normal touch typing system easily. I do expect the staff to be able to use a keyboard but typing is not a requirement just the ability to do their job which may require a bit of letter writing, spreed sheet playing and some VB coding on the odd occasion none of these require a high speed typing skills and similarly I would not expect the person who I employ as the Office Manager who’s main job is typing out the invoices monthly bills and assorted reports to be capable of writing any VB code in Excel. It’s different strokes for different folks nothing more nothing less. 😀

          The only thing I really do expect of any of my staff is to be able to do their job and be capable of driving in a safe manner to get there and hopefully not to be involved in a collision on the way. It’s even more important that when they steal one of my Classic Mercedes they do not crash it on the way but on the other hand one of the guys was driving to a job in one of my Mercedes and was struck on the drivers side by a truck which ran a red light and if he had of been in the new car that I provide for them to drive most likely he would have died rather than only suffering the minor injuries that he did in the collision. Of course the injuries that he suffered latter for wrecking my car that I had spent 5 years finding and another 3 years restoring where far more serious. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3243529

          Job Role/Responsibility determines

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Simma donna!

          As many have noted, typing is not an issue or have any influence on effieciency or effectiveness for all job roles/functions. Programming is only one example of people who do not have to be great typists because there is more involved then typing the program into the computer. The other tasks are more important then the typing.

          Good typists are needed for very specific types of jobs where writing is the focus of the job – Administrative assistance, secretaries, writers, etc. I can’t see a mechanic needing to type up his forms on the data entry screens very quickly. It is fill in the blank for him/her.

          The job requirements determine the skill sets needed. 🙂 just my opinion

        • #3243912


          by laughing jack ·

          In reply to Try walking into any office today and not see a computer

          Nobody’s selling Undertaking.

        • #3262487

          Typing speed and sales

          by jwarmath ·

          In reply to Try walking into any office today and not see a computer

          Most medical offices don’t rely on sales people to run the office. People get hurt all by themselves and that keeps us in business.
          Also, the original posting stated having a decent speed not to be an expert typist.

        • #3262590

          Well firstly the Medical offices do sell themselves

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Typing speed and sales

          By the ability of the Doctors involved there and their location but mainly by the ability of the doctors involved they in that case are the salesmen as they are constantly selling themselves to their customers which you would call patients. 🙂

          Now in a decent sized Medical Center just how many of the doctors actually type anything on a regular basis? Most of their work is point and click. 🙂

          The only exception to this is in Medical Legal work places and even then the doctors never ever write the reports they just enter them in some how and then get one of the secretarial staff to write the report then sign off on it. :p

          This is something that a lot of Doctors do not like admitting as they for some reason seem to think themselves better than others but the really honest ones which I’ve meet a few of admit that they are nothing more than limited technicians who dispense pills and potions to fix the machine that they are working on, the Surgeons are a different kettle of fish though and they are always good for a laugh as they freely admit that they are nothing better than a simple mechanic. 😀

          The simple fact is that Doctors are no better than anyone else and just like us in IT are constantly selling themselves in an attempt to keep getting work. :p

          Col ]:)

        • #3262651

          Sales vs IT

          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to Try walking into any office today and not see a computer

          Why does everyone have the impression that the sales people are the almighty gods of any company? Yes, they are important but without the tech people behind them with their “toys” that helped them accomplish their end goals of making sure things are in stock, etc. they wouldn’t have anything.

          I work in a financial institution and without my “toys” those front end people that everyone says are so important would be in a world of hurt.

          In a company, you need every part to make it function efficiently.

        • #3262596

          Exactly right

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Sales vs IT

          In any major business you can not single out just one section of the industry but by the same token you can not either dismiss the people who do the selling as being unimportant as they are the ones who keep the company going and it is our job to support them rather than having them constantly supporting us. 😉

          In any business no sales means no business and worse still no money to pay bills or wages now which would you prefer to do without for a few months no IT department or no sales staff? 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3243587

          Why people go into sales…

          by jessie ·

          In reply to totally off topic

          People go into sales because a good salesman can make money HAND OVER FIST!!! People go into TECH because they can’t handle sales.

          Great, I can type 80 wpm… that means that as a tech, I often get handed secretarial jobs for the other techs because the rest of them can’t type very fast with a good bit of accuracy… woohoo, typing has made my life soooooo much better.

        • #3243570

          80 wpm

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to Why people go into sales…

          That’s fair but not great typing speed. So you’re saying it isn’t to your benefit you can fill out tickets faster so you can get on to more calls, or on to other activities to improve your knowledge base or skill set? Pee-shaw! If you’re accepting the secretarial jobs, that’s your fault for being a wimp. You should be flaunting your superior skills, not mocking them.

        • #3245268

          I was a salesman once

          by roger99a ·

          In reply to Why people go into sales…

          I didn’t like it, either, so I became a tech. I can’t type worth a nickle either, but I can memorize a 128 bit WEP key, a Windows OEM number, tons of IP addresses, and I can solve problems in a fraction of the time it takes most other techs I know.
          I got an A in keyboarding because I was the only person in the class that could get those old crappy 8088’s to print.
          Some skills can save you minutes. Some skills can save you hours.

      • #3243744

        I agree!

        by carol1 ·

        In reply to Pity the hunt-and-peckers

        I agree with woodworker. I learned to type in junior high and I feel that it’s the most useful course that I ever took. People that don’t know how to type don’t realize the difference it makes. Maybe it shouldn’t be a requirement but it should be encouraged. And if people go back to typing with two fingers instead of nine (eight fingers + a thumb) after taking a typing course then that’s their perogative.

    • #3243161


      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Typing

      The most used key on my machine is backspace, and not because I peck in the wrong place, but because I change my mind about what I want to type.

      It’s probably too late for a touch typing course now, after 28 years of two fingered typing and besides as a developer the performance bottleneck has never been the keyboard.

      Also checking for spelling mistakes, doubled up words, grammatical errors etc, means I don’t insult people unintentionally.

      • #3243112

        My problem is that I DON’T hunt and peck

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to WTF

        I played keyboards for years so my dexterity is excellent, but just as when I played keyboards, my finger placement isn’t good at all. I think I probably DO use the same fingers for the same keys, but I type too fast and watch the keys so I miss mistakes easily.

        When I type fast I hit the space bar early and ‘creat eorphans’ or miss ‘leters’ entirely, often double capitals from not releasing the SHIFT key before I have hit the nest key, thus THis happens alot too.

        So I just need to slow down and THINK about handplacement, I know the rows and all that crap but just haven’t taken the time to really practice, so while I use all of my digits quite efficiently, I watch the keyboard and don’t see mistakes as I type.

        I do write copy for some pretty big corporations though, a simple three page PDF can take a week, so I get to catch the mistakes in time.

        • #3245101

          I know where all the keys are as well

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to My problem is that I DON’T hunt and peck

          I do tend to look at the keyboard.
          I didn’t spend 8 weeeks
          ASDF ASDF ASDF
          The only possible reason I can ses for teaching IT people to type, is so they can fall back to being a secretary when they find out that creating an excel worksheet once while at college doesn’t make them a software engineer.

      • #3262426

        Intentional Insult

        by speed diva ·

        In reply to WTF

        I agree, Tony! More damage is done in the workplace, emails, posts, and even manuals and websites by people’s not double checking for clarity than by how long it took them to write it in the first place.

        The brilliance of high-tech processing is the ease with which it can be edited. The only reason to type fast is to leave more time for reviewing and editing.

        To illustrate: One fast-typing, poor-spelling friend emailed a slow-at-everything friend that the document the second had been waiting for had been sent twice, so should be there by now. The second guy quit speaking to the first, because he felt insulted that the first emailed him saying, “I resent that.”

        The moral of the story? If you can’t proofread, hyphenate everything! :p)

        • #3262226

          Even in this public and vaguely

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Intentional Insult

          anonymous site. I’ve been reading before clicking and thought hmmm maybe I should re-word that a bit it could be construed as extremely insulting whereas my intent was only to be very insulting.
          At work when someone is getting right up your inbox, it’s even more necessary.

          The other point that seems to be falling on deaf ears, is developers are thinking what to type, for the bulk of someone employed to type’s work, that has already been done.

    • #3243133

      Just sometimes fast typing can be a BAD THING

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Typing

      Many years ago when I worked for IBM on mainframes we had a constant problem in one of the regional towns in a Government Department where the system would crash on an irregular basis. 🙁

      Eventually after everyone else had failed to fix the problem I was sent there and told not to return until I had fixed the problem. 😉

      Well just like everyone else I couldn’t fault the setup and no matter just how much I tried I couldn’t get the thing to fall over and I really did try. 😀

      But eventually I did find the problem and while it was computer related it was a Data Entry Operator who could type faster than the unit could handle and that would crash it completely. Of course when there was a tech there she never did this but when there was no one there and she wanted a unscheduled break she would just type in a string of data and bring the unit down for about 1 hour while they got it up and running again. 🙂

      I only found this by backtracking the logs and found an error on one terminal constantly appearing just before the crash. Every time there was a crash this particular workstation was involved and when I asked about the operator I was told that she was the best typist in the place and was the fastest and most accurate person possible to find. 🙂

      As it was an un-fixable problem I just let the “Powers That Be” know what was happening and limited the available character entry from that terminal which drove her nuts but the unit never crashed again although we where getting constant complaints about the slow speed of one particular terminal and whenever she was moved the Sys Admins limited the new terminal and allowed her old terminal back to normal operation. 😀

      It was a quick and dirty work around but the only possible solution to the problem and in this case faster defiantly was not better as it made so much more work for everyone when ever this person wanted a break. 😀

      Col ]:)

      • #3244867

        Typing a bad thing? Steady on there now . . .

        by levannah44 ·

        In reply to Just sometimes fast typing can be a BAD THING

        Col, that sounds awfully like twisted logic — or something! Taken to its inevitable conclusion, you’re saying that computers (keyboards) can’t handle a typist’s speed as well as old-fashioned typewriters did?

        Now, while I know you’re talking computers of last century, I’m talking typewriters that go back almost to the turn of the 19th century!

        I learnt to type on my Dad’s very ancient Royal typewriter (c.1900) by teaching myself from the Pitman’s book.

        When I started working after completing secondary school and uni, the typewriters I used were greatly upgraded, although still manual. By then I was typing upwards of 70 words a minute.

        Then along came electric typewriters, first with “rolling balls” and then with daisy wheels, so my speed increased to 85. By the time PCs came on the scene, the change over was a breeze, as the keyboards still used good old QWERTY. I can type up to 95 words a minute on a good day now, but I mostly don’t bother any more now I’m officially “retired”.

        But on all the typewriters I’ve ever used, there was never any problem with them not being fast enough to take whatever speeds were thrown at them, particularly the electric variety.

        One (ex-court) typist I knew (and they’re the fastest, by a long shot — some up to 120 words a minute) raced along at 112 words a minute, and that was on a COMPUTER keyboard. I don’t recall it ever seizing up.

        What the hell number of words did this lady type you had the difficulty with when the mainframe used to crash all the time? Just my curiosity again — and you know what that’s like!!!!


        • #3243726

          Gret back in those days they where all “DUMB TERMINALS”

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Typing a bad thing? Steady on there now . . .

          It was more a network bandwidth problem than anything else. Those old terminals where little more than a display and keyboard and all the processing was done on the mainframe and by comparison with todays networks they where sooooooooo slow. 😉

          But I’m going from memory here I think she was around the 120 WPM speed and the system couldn’t handle anything above something like the 100 WPM speed which at the time was way faster than most could type. 🙂

          Anyway she would constantly type in a string of charters and bring the whole thing crashing down and then go off on a break until the Sys Admin got the thing up and running again. Remember these where the Old 9300 IBM’s and where sought of the first mass produced and used computers in industry in this particular case it was a Government Department {DSS} so money was no object as the computer improved efficiency. This was after the days of the Golf Ball Electric Typewriter and before the days of the PC. :p

          Today we have “Thin Clients” which are almost the same but we have higher band widths available so I very much doubt that a problem would arise, but this particular woman used to delight in bringing the system crashing down just so she could go out and have a coffee or whatever Public Servants do. 😀

          I still actually know who she is well as of about 10 years ago now but I doubt she has moved from that area as she had a business there along with her husband who had another business and both seemed to be going great guns so if you like I can post her name and town off line to you so you can confirm the story. :p

          Col ]:)

        • #3243648

          In (faint) praise even of “dumb terminals”!

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Gret back in those days they where all “DUMB TERMINALS”

          Col, the point I was really trying to make was that the above problem — typing faster than 100 wpm — would never have occured on an old manual typewriter, much less on an electric one, golf ball or any other.

          And considering computers, even those old IBM mainframes, were supposedly created to be able to take fast input — always bearing in mind that it was a known fact BEFORE computers that any typist assigned to court duties would always have had a speed of AT LEAST 120 wpm — why the hell weren’t they immediately created to take at least that speed?

          Of course, these days, we know everything’s lightning fast, and not even an ex-typist, court-trained or otherwise, could out-speed (is that a word??) a computer, no matter how hard he or she tried.

          Trouble is, the breed’s dying out. These days, even with court “typists” (read also “keyboarders”) now actually DICTATE what’s said into a machine a bit like a dictaphone, so very little typing, per se, is required.

          Same as stenographers; I think they’ve already died out! Remember stenographers, the one’s who used to take down notes of what the boss said using all those funny “shorthand” squiggles? You don’t need that any more with computers, and even dictaphone-type machine are on their knees, I believe.

          However, knowing how to type on old manual typewriters, where they still exist, is always an advantage when it comes to computers, at least in my opinion, but even so, when only computers are all that’s left, including dinosaurs like 486s, etc., there’ll still be CD-ROMs (and dare I say, for the dinosaurs, floppies?) around that teach good old QWERTY from the days of manual typewriters. It’s just one of those hangovers that’s going to stick, I think, even for computers. Logic has made it so!


        • #3243628

          Gret I really realize what you where attempting to get at

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to In (faint) praise even of “dumb terminals”!

          But in this particular case the problem was more to do with available bandwidth across the network.

          As back in those days all the “Workstations” had no processing power the Mainframes did it all but the data still had to be transfered to them by network cables and this was really where the bottle neck was. If only this woman had been typing I very much doubt that she could have brought the system down but because there where so many other workstations being used concurrently on a Unix Mainframe that was where the problems originated.

          Sorry but I can no longer remember the network speeds but by todays comparison even the slowest 10 MBS would have been well beyond the very limited speed of those old units and would have been considered as impossible at the time. But even then if the installation had of been up to spec and as big as it really needed to be I very much doubt that there would have been a problem but Government Departments being what they are tend to make do with the smallest possible and just live with the problems that arise. This was what was happening in this case.

          Back in those days we used to have HDD that had to be bolted to the floor with tiger bolts or I think at the time they where called Dyna bolts as the units where not well balanced and it was not an uncommon sight to see one take off across the floor vibrating badly until it reached the end of its leads and unplugged itself when we where testing things. They where in cabinets about 3 – 4 feet high and about 2 foot square and we could stop them unscrew a locking ring and pull out the platters and replace them with another set with different data stored each plater set was several K’s worth and the whole thing was horrendously expensive by todays standards. They also used open reel tape that used to travel at several miles per hour and would often break so you ended up with several thousand feet of tape un-spooled in the bottom of the enclosure another long forgotten painful experience rewinding it all back on and splicing it so you could recover whatever it was that was stored on those things.

          But just for a diagnostic test we used to walk in with a 10 ” + floppy and play what looked like “Space Invaders” from the floppy but really it was a diagnostic program which put a very high load on the system and when it failed you got an error message which told you exactly where the problem was. So initially you would go in and spend the first few minutes appearing to play a game and then when things fell over you knew exactly where to start looking for faults. 😉

          For a bit of a reality check watch Apollo 13 and pay particular attention to the actor “Tom Hanks I think” who is showing some dignitaries through the pre launch assembly area and listen to his description of what he hopes to see in a computer in the long distant future he is actually describing something as powerful as a Commodore 64 and today that wouldn’t even rate as a play toy but back then it seemed an unachievable goal.

          What you have to remember is at the time Intel had not developed the High Density IC which in their first design was a Z 80 CPU which today can be brought for a few cents at Radio Shack if they still stock them but back then they would have been in the several hundred K $ range to get something so powerful.

          The real problem in the case that I mentioned was not that the system couldn’t handle the typing speed but that it was overloaded to such an extent that it did fail when the higher typing speeds where invoked because there where far too many workstations connected to the mainframe and the bandwidth was very limited so when someone started typing at a very fast rate by DSS standards the network overloaded and fell over with a heap of critical errors. Those where the days with mono screens which where either green on black or orange on black and they where very poor resolution by todays standards they where not even as clear as a TV screen and really a lot worse while today and for a very long time now the Display has been far superior to any TV that has as yet been produced.

          These installations where several Million $ each and on every occasion that I was involved in faultfinding a problem on one it always boiled down to not enough processing power and no where enough bandwidth on the network they always needed far more hardware to run every workstation that was made available to the system but just lacked the budget to deploy this extra hardware. The Universities back in those days used to allocate compute time to the students in 15 minute blocks and if you where very lucky you would get 15 minutes at 2.45 AM 2 days a week and if you missed even 1 second it was lost permanently you just never got the chance to reclaim any unused time.

          There was an older generation of mainframe computer and I believe that the CSIRO unit designed and built here in AU in the early to mid 40’s is currently on display at the Melbourne Powerhouse Museum if I remember correctly it was called Cyrix and did all the calculations for the Snowy Mountain Scheme, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and all the other major construction works in Australia up until it was retired in the early to mid 60’s.

          I didn’t go see it while I was there as I would want to play with it and it is only a static display as the people who where responsible for keeping it running are now long retired and even to just set it up they had to pull a guy out of retirement just to tell them how it should actually look when assembled I don’t think that they have applied any power since it was assembled in Melbourne and from my understanding are unwilling to risk it as it might break and they have no idea on how to repair it if that was to happen. Of course the whole thing is feed by punch cards and the resulting output is all punch cards again which then need to be feed through another device to get the correct answers to the computations that where performed. The thing ran at 1 KHZ and in its day was considered as the fastest thing possible. Now days we are expecting speeds in excess of 3 GIG Hertz a little over 3 million times faster and with a readable input and output as well. 🙂

          I know exactly what you are getting at but the real situation of the time was that s much as possible was done with as little as possible and that was what caused many of the problems and this was all done this way because of the prices involved in just keeping the things running let alone buying everything that was required in the first place.

          Even in Canberra other than the Department of Defense no one had a big enough system to take full advantage of the capabilities that where offered and this was all because of the high price of the original installation which often took several months just to get the hardware into the building and then it had to be in a temperature controlled room that was kept at 0 humidity and only allowed to change temperature by a few degrees C . The building that these things where housed in couldn’t have any water at all near them and if there was a fire there was a Halon fire suppression system which is no longer allowed but if it was deployed it prevented any damage occurring to the mainframes and all of the cables that ran in trenches along the floor. It really was a major undertaking to install one of these units and much of the time the size of the area that could be set aside was the limiting factor as each frame had to be a certain distance from the nearest frame to stop a buildup of heat. :p

          Anyway have a look in the Powerhouse Museum and you’ll see the original AU computer that worked for well over 20 years and other than routine maintenance never gave any real problems. Of course with all the tubes in the thing you could quite easily place a fry pan above it and fry up a meal if it didn’t do so much damage to the machine. E#very connector on that unit is GOLD not plated but pure Gold even the wires that plug in are all Gold as well or at least they used to be I’m not sure just how much of it was sold off to recover costs when it was mothballed but the cables alone would have kept the AU jewelers in gold for a few years. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3262861

          In praise of valves, tubes and punch cards

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Gret I really realize what you where attempting to get at

          Believe it or not, Col, I can see exactly where you’re coming from. Golly, I even remember those days, and the amazement and awe in which we held these great machines.

          I’ve already seen the one in the Powerhouse Museum and it is still awesome, even for a dinosaur. The thing is, it really makes you think when you realise that the power those things produced can now be held in the palm of the hand and have umpteen times the power!

          On the other hand, without all those valves and tubes and what have you, we wouldn’t have plasma screens, laptops and the palm-held hand devices we so much take for granted today.

          Good on yer, Col!


        • #3243509


          by jessie ·

          In reply to In (faint) praise even of “dumb terminals”!

          The QWERTY keyboard layout was developed to slow people down on manual typewriters so they wouldn’t bog up the keys when typing. When I was learning to type on a manual typewriter, I could EASILY get the keybars stuck together just by hitting two keys in close succession. I’ve gotten WAY too much ink on my fingers from prying apart the keybars on manual typewriters before the electric typewriter was developed which would only allow a certain typing speed (not sure what it was).

        • #3243505

          Apologies Gret

          by jessie ·

          In reply to Gret…

          I should have read the lower threads before posting this one… just ignore it. 🙂

        • #3262859


          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Apologies Gret

          No offence taken, Jessie. I think it was 120wpm, because that was the speed that court reporters HAD to have. (Correct me if I’m wrong)


        • #3262476

          Slow hardware

          by alangeek ·

          In reply to In (faint) praise even of “dumb terminals”!

          Actually, some machines actually couldn’t handle those speeds. In college we had PDP-11/70’s as our “mainframe” on an asynch network with dumb terminals running at 1200 baud, and one terminal had an 8″ floppy drive (256K/disk!) running through a null modem apparatus on the network. A few of us had access to a program that would reset the floppy drive to 2400 baud so you could save your programs more quickly, but we’d get yelled at by the sysadmins because they said it would send interrupts at a rate the PDP’s couldn’t keep up with (questionable design, in my mind).

          Also, when I was a radioteletype operator in the Army (’77-’80), the old Kleinschmidt teletypes we had (TT-98, TT-76, from the ’40s perhaps) were not physically able to type faster than about 45 wpm or they would lock up on you. The TT-76 was a little faster, but usually only when using the paper punch tape reader to send a message you punched manually earlier.

        • #3262406

          Balls! Balls!

          by speed diva ·

          In reply to In (faint) praise even of “dumb terminals”!

          Slow down there, Gret…In an office where I worked, circa 1970, a gal named Casandra Cansler sped along an IBM Selectric so fast the ball would fly off–repeatedly! (Yes, we double-checked the reseating of the ball! 😉 ) I think she tapped about 120 wpm, but how can one tell when the words will no longer go onto the paper to be counted?

          She’s now a physician and musician in the Chattanooga area. Look her up. Better yet, challenge her to a typing duel. 😉

        • #3262857

          Reply To: Typing

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Balls! Balls!

          I remember people like that back in the days of ye olde golfball typewriters, Speed Diva. 120wpm was the top that anyone I knew could race along at, simply because that was what was required for court reporters.

          I’ve no idea why they required that particular speed, but they did, so I was simply speculating that typewriters, both electric and the older manual kinds, would have needed to be able to take typing speeds at least that fast without getting themselves in a tangle of letterbars, since this court speed has been a thing over here from way back when.

          Anyway, I look at it now like this. In a few more years, keyboards of any kind will be obsolete. Laptops will become dinosaurs and PCs will go the way of all junk in the end — to the rubbish heap.

          Why? Because we’ll all be holding our “PCs” in our hands and just talking to them. Voice recognition will become the only way we input information, and these tiny hand held devices will still be more powerful than all the computers extant in the world today. It’s already beginning, and it will continue down that track. See if I’m not right!


    • #3244941

      Whats the point

      by ozi eagle ·

      In reply to Typing

      After having become proficient on a standard keyboard you get a laptop, with different spacings, or worse yet one of those curved ergonomic keyboards that type total gibberish.

      • #3244905

        good typists more efficient is the point

        by wordworker ·

        In reply to Whats the point

        it’s just like working in a kitchen. if you plod along slowly, painstakingly chopping up the onions or the lettuce for every salad or meal because you aren’t very good with using the knife and cutting board, you won’t get as much food prepared as someone who has good dexterity and can whip through that work quickly and efficiently. Same with typing. It’s the mundane tasks that, if done inefficiently, add up to a lot of wasted time over the course of a day.

        • #3244862

          Learn to type

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to good typists more efficient is the point

          I agree with you, wordworker, although “efficiency”, I think, is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

          My father was a self-taught typist, bashing away on an ancient Royal typewriter from about 1900 which had had all the fraction keys changed to language keys (accents, umlauts, etc., as he mostly wrote in French, German or Italian).

          He only ever used two fingers, but I kid you not, his two fingers were quite as fast and equally as efficient as my ten, typing over 60 words a minute before he was smitten with arthritis.

          I learnt to type on the same typewriter, but used to follow the old Pitman’s book, with all the correct fingers on the correct keys.

          Now CD-ROMs with typing programs on them are used (where I come from) to teach typing to PC-users, and while they mostly still use QWERTY, nothing’s changed except the speed of the users. It’s easier to go faster on a computer keyboard than it ever was on a typewriter, even an electric one!

          I guess those who complain about computers are the ones who haven’t learnt typing first, although I’ll stand by what I said before about my father; some two finger typists can be just as fast and just as efficient as those of us who still use all the proper QWERTY practices.

        • #3244854

          Efficient ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to good typists more efficient is the point

          Of what use it is to be able to type fast and accurately, when you don’t know what to type. The bottleneck on a large software project isn’t a developer’s typing skills !
          All speed typing would do is get more characters in a file before you’d realised there was an error in the design.
          It’s people who realise they’ve made a mistake quicker that you want, not someone who can type an error rapidly.

        • #3243647

          Not efficient, maybe, but reliable, let’s say

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Efficient ?

          That’s very true, Tony, and I quite agree with you. I’d say the majority of projects requiring input on a computer these days don’t need speed, or even accuracy (meaning that caused by speed), but while the computer keyboard is still aligned to the old manual typewriter QWERTY keyboard (which was established for very logical reasons, although to a non-typist it probably looks entirely ILlogical), I believe that knowing this arrangement, and therefore knowing how to type correctly, is still extremely important.

          You can deny it if you like, and you are more than welcome to try, but until a “new” keyboard arrangement is developed (non-QWERTY), or the keyboard is discarded altogether in favour of voice control, I believe typing is a very necessary skill.

        • #3243626

          qwerty is efficient?

          by anykey??? ·

          In reply to Not efficient, maybe, but reliable, let’s say

          I am a big fan of mundane trivia, and read some info on the history of the typewriter.
          The QWERTY keyboard was created to slow typists down on one of the early typwriter designs because the orginal layout was to efficient and caused the typewriter to jam, and this occured with average or below average typists of the time, there are actually way more efficient keyboard layouts but they just never caught on.

          I do believe that it is imporntant to be efficient on the keyboard, but in MOST cases accuracy can make up for someones below average speed.

        • #3245169

          that certainly IS mundane trivia

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to qwerty is efficient?

          And I also believe it’s a little bit misleading. As I remember, the QWERTY keyboard solved the problem of jamming by separating the keys of letters that frequently occur in words side by side. Typists were slowed down as an unavoidable side effect of having the keys moved after they had learned one layout. In any case, avoiding typewriter jam actually made them faster, because after all the standard is not how quickly one taps a key, but how quickly one gets the correct letters, numbers, and puctuation in the correct sequence, using the available tools.

        • #3262852

          Reply To: Typing

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to qwerty is efficient?

          I didn’t say QWERTY was efficient, anykey. I said it was reliable, which isn’t really the same. In the days of manual typewriters, the QWERTY layout was certainly a deliberate attempt to slow everything down to the point where the letterbars wouldn’t jam.

          When golfballs and discs were invented with electric typewriters, the problem wasn’t quite so bad, but I guess QWERTY by then was a kind of fixture, so it just stayed in spite of everything.

          Personally, I think there are far more efficient layouts than QWERTY, especially now with computers. But old habits die hard, they say, and frankly I think QWERTY will be around with us until keyboards of all kinds become obsolete in a few more years — which they will.

          Pretty soon we won’t have to worry about layouts and all that. Keyboards, laptops — all that sort of thing will be gone. We’ll all just be talking to our computers — which will be held in our hands and kept in our pockets!


        • #3243625

          Typing is certainly necessary for typists

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Not efficient, maybe, but reliable, let’s say

          and valuable for programmers such as myself. But if you are going to teach it, it’s got to be right at the start. After nearly thirty years on qwerty I’m ruined for standard touch typing, it would be like trying to do feet writing. I suppose given a non qwerty (dvorak for instance)it would be as ‘easy’ to learn touch type with it as the three fingers and a thumb method I use now. I don’t think key speed would be the benefit, but removing the dleays from chnagign some of my standrda spelling mistakes, when pressing the compile button. Saying that I’m so regular with most of them I can do a search & replace.
          Had a go a voice control for coding, the punctuation requirements, coupled with the difficulty of editing by voice made it a non-starter. Haven’t seen one recently, but without intelligent recognition of the syntax of the language you are coding in, it’s slower than I can type with one finger.

        • #3245177

          don’t need speed or even accuracy?

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to Not efficient, maybe, but reliable, let’s say

          That’s sound reasoning. I hope the people in your payroll department don’t pick up on it.

        • #3245137


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to don’t need speed or even accuracy?

          I’m a developer. Typing fast is not important, spelling the words correctly first time is not important. Writing robust, maintainable fit for purpose applications is important though, much much much more important. If you match me against someone who can outperform me on the design front and can type you have a point. But if you’d rather have good typist who knows a bit about developing doing your software, then I forsee a short and unproductive career ahead of you unless you move into HR. In which case it will be long and unproductive.

          Being able to type is not a measure of ability in any job in IT.

        • #3244356

          Developers who type well

          by wordworker ·

          In reply to Greteings

          …are going to kick your butt in a head to head measure of who produces the most code in the least time, assuming quality of coding (number of defects) is equal.

        • #3245690

          I’ve been coding reasonably well

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Greteings

          and typing reasonably badly since 1978 so …

          That’s an assumption I’m always happy to disprove, I’ve spent the last six years as a contractor going around clearing up after really good typists.

        • #3243725

          But that is only important if speed in required

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to good typists more efficient is the point

          A salesperson in an office who only surfs the net and sends out the occasional e-mail with a lot of attachments isn’t going to be concerned if it takes 5 minutes to write an e-mail or 25 minutes all that is required is to get the attachments to the other end and if they are on dial-up it will take far longer to download the e-mail that it will to actually construct it and send it off.

          While they might have a computer on their desks they do not live on the thing but only use it as a tool which is all it actually is and then live on the telephone to either close the deal or find out that the inquiry was a waste of time.

          Col ]:)

        • #3243758

          garbage in, garbage out

          by thistlevt ·

          In reply to good typists more efficient is the point

          I have been a software developer for nearly 20 years. I can type ok, but that is definately NOT what makes me a good software developer. If I had not learned to read and write on paper, then there would be a problem. The best ideas are always scribled out on paper first, then erased and scribled out again. Skipping that evolution and going straight to the keyboard, removes an opportunity to review (and improve) the ideas/content being generated.

        • #3262222

          Well I do that with the keyboard

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to garbage in, garbage out

          on account of not being able to read my own writing.
          But you are quite correct it’s what we type that matters not how.

          Tried a caligraphy course, to improve my handwriting and the tutor said I’d be better off swapping hands. Had to buy some left handed fountain pens. Wasn’t a total waste of time my writing with the wrong hand showed a marked improvement.

        • #3262430

          Reply To: Typing

          by hcetrepus ·

          In reply to good typists more efficient is the point

          But dammit can the cook type?!?!

      • #3244864

        To QWERTY or not to QWERTY, that is the question

        by levannah44 ·

        In reply to Whats the point

        I’ve seen those so-called ergonomic keyboards but never took a really close look at them. Are you saying, ozi Eagle, that they DON’T HAVE QWERTY? This is heresy of the greatest kind.

        Gret (in Melbourne)

        • #3244861

          Check out this link

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to To QWERTY or not to QWERTY, that is the question

          I had to standardise a whole bunch of laptops and a couple of desktops for an international sales team when they were all gathered together for a conference in Belgium. The laptops drove me blind trying to find some of the keys – I had to cut and paste the backslash key on a couple of systems as I never did find it. One of the desktops had the Dvorak keyboard and I just couldn’t handle it and had to get the owner to do it. The “bent” keyboards are just split in the middle – a nuisance but the keys are still in the same place.

          The qwerty keyboard was designed to SLOW typists down so the letters wouldn’t hit each other. It would seem that the Dvorak keyboard is designed for SPEED as there are no limitations caused by mechanical parts and the keys are positioned in the most logical layout for rapid striking.

          Neil 😀

          ps Enjoy the Games. They’re trying to get the 2012 Olympics for London and I’m PRAYING that they fail!

        • #3244853

          Can’t handle those bent keyboards at all

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Check out this link

          My digits know where to go but the digits aren’t where my digits are going.
          A colleague has one, been using it for three years, but put him on a normal one and any output looks like it’s been thumped out by a three year old having a tantrum.
          Give me a bent keyboard and I can do a very good tantrum. Look like ED209 after it fell down the stairs chasing Robocop.

        • #3243723

          Well I used to use one until I wore it out

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Can’t handle those bent keyboards at all

          And had to switch back to a normal Keyboard that M$ had very kindly given me as a present it is one of the Wireless ones that eats batteries like there is no tomorrow but after breaking or wearing out a mouse in 6 months I got another one which has a better battery life and after 12 months I can almost use it properly now with very few mistakes. But the real problem that I find is that while they are all QWERTY some keys are in different places which totally muck things up no end so now I try to carry a keyboard with me at all times just so I can find the keys that I want without needing to look. Of course that fell to pieces when I got the Notebook as I just can not fit a conventional keyboard/mouse with it for most instances so I’m back to making all the mistakes under the sun because both of the main keyboards that I use are different and they are hard to come to terms with.

          Currently I have one of those new beaut Ergonomic Keyboards that look like a giant U I’ve actually pulled it out of the box and had a look but as yet haven’t been game enough to actually plug it in as everything is on the keyboard including the pointing device and you can not actually see the keys as they are at right angles to where you sit. One day when I’m feeling particularly self destructive I’ll have a play but personally think it will be a long time coming.

          Col ]:)

        • #3243638


          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Well I used to use one until I wore it out

          Col, the only keys that are out-of-place on a standard QWERTY keyboard, be they old manual typewriters or modern (2005) computers, are the auxiliary keys.

          That is, all the alphanumeric keys stay the same no matter what. It’s the blooming asterisks and back slashes and all the rest of them that seem to get pushed around from pillar to post and walk all over the damned keyboard!

        • #3243609

          Exactly Gret

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to !@#$%^&*()_+|

          And they are the ones most commonly used when punching code so different makes or models of keyboard can have a major impact on typing speed and accuracy. Unfortunately when you are punching in code you do not have the luxury of a spell check or grammar check you have to go back and manually edit any thing that the compiler can not correct and at the moment there is a massive difference in what a piece of code will do with a back slash instead of a forward slash. That can be just one typing error that causes the piece of code not to work add that to 100,000 lines of code compiled by up to 30 programmers and just begin to imagine what can happen. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3262847

          Reply To: Typing

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to !@#$%^&*()_+|

          Col, I don’t think I want to know what that would compute out to! It sounds just too horrendous to even contemplate!

          My dad had the fraction keys removed from his very ancient Royal typewriter and changed to accents and things in other languages, because he corresponded in (mostly) other European languages with his counterparts over there.

          When I learned to type on this beautiful monstrosity, it meant forgetting there’d been fractions there and instead of expecting half or three-quarters to turn up, you got a cedilla or an umlaut or whatever! This, of course, was way before we got all these things on discs and golfballs, in “International” font, and of course, with computers it’s now standard, in “Insert” followed by “Character”.

          Never mind. Pretty soon keyboards will be obsolete and you’ll just talk to that little hand-held thing in your palm — or even on your watch, and you won’t ever need to worry about pressing the wrong key again!


        • #3243642

          Dvorak vs QWERTY

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Check out this link

          Phew! Who invented this Dvorak keyboard, Neil? I just checked it out, and of course, having the old QWERTY keyboard superimposed on it allows the differences to stand out very distinctly.

          Trouble is, for those of us who learned to type on the old QWERTY system, I’m not sure how easy it would be to UNlearn it and re-learn the Dvorak layout. I think I’d forever be getting my fingers knotted!

          Yes, I was aware that the QWERTY layout was invented with the idea in mind of slowing fast typists down. I was never really certain what that meant, however, because all court-trained typists needed to have at least 120 wpm, or two strokes a second, even back in the “olden days”!

          On those old manual battleaxes, that was fast, and even on electric typewriters, golf-ball and anything else, it was also considered pretty rapid too.

          I guess I’d have to be able to use the Dvorak layout properly before knowing if it aided speed or not, but, as I said, I can’t see me unlearning QWERTY at my age and taking on such a challenge. Usually I enjoy challenges, but I think this time I’ll just stick around with 70+ wpm and be content with that!

        • #3243593

          Gret I could be wrong on this one but I was lead to believe

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Dvorak vs QWERTY

          That the Dvorak was developed long before the QWERTY right at the beginning of the typewriter era but with those old machines caused too many jam’s where different keys would clash and lock together requiring the operator to stop typing and unjam the machine.

          To minimize this from happening someone developed the QWERTY layout which slowed the typists down considerably and it was eventually accepted as a “Standard” keyboard layout.

          Prior to this happing the things like court proceedings where taken down in short hand and then latter transcribed to paper via typewriter but that was all in the late 19 TH century and by the time that the typewriters had become reliable or at least didn’t jam as often the QWERTY was the accepted layout so there where no changes as by that time every typists had become familiar with the layout.

          From my understanding the QWERTY layout was only required for about 20 years or so for reliability issues with the really old typewriters but by the time that the units could be pushed faster the layout had stuck which just might go some way to explaining the amount of RSI suffered by typist’s on those old typewriters and to a lesser extent on the newer electric ones and then computers.

          I really don’t know if that is correct I was however told that story many years ago now and it does make a certain amount of sense.

          As you quite rightly say once you have learned the QWERTY system it would be very hard to switch to a different layout which I’ve been told is the main reason why the QWERTY has stuck for so long even though it so inefficient.

          Col ]:)

        • #3262846

          Shoot the inventor

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Gret I could be wrong on this one but I was lead to believe

          You are not wrong, Col. Everything you’ve said is right, right, right, right and right!!

          And I’ve said the same thing myself in several new posts I’ve made throughout this thread, so you can read what I’ve said there rather than me repeat everything again.

          The same old story, heh?


        • #3262357

          You hit it right on the head!

          by carol1 ·

          In reply to Dvorak vs QWERTY

          levannah44, I couldn’t have said it better! It’s kind of ironic (even if it’s true) that the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down typists, because I learned to type on the QWERTY keyboard and I find it very efficient. (Also, when you know how to type, you instantly catch mistakes since you’re looking at the screen while you’re typing.) And no one said that a faster typist makes a better programmer, or that someone should be hired based on typing skills. It’s just that if a programmer learns how to type, s/he’ll be more efficient.

        • #3262845

          Typing skills

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to You hit it right on the head!

          These days, with computers, I doubt anyone in IT would be hired for their efficiency in the typing stakes. Time was, of course, when this wasn’t the case; in the days of electric typewriters, and certainly manuals, a person was ONLY hired if they could type quickly and accurately.

          The transition from typewriters to computers put all this speed and accuracy stuff behind us, except for the lingering on of good ol’ QWERTY, which seemed to leap the transition too.

          I think if you’ve had the advantage of learning QWERTY back in the dark old days, then it just gives you that extra something over ITers who haven’t. I may be wrong, but that’s what I think, anyway.

          I teach computer skills to elderly people, some who’ve never seen a computer in their life! These people have to even learn how to turn the damned things on, let alone anything else!

          But the ones who’ve been typists in their earlier lives, and learned the QWERTY keyboard seem to pick things up much more quickly than those who haven’t. That’s just my observation, and the reason I’ve said what I have. Others can feel free to contradict me at any time!


        • #3262169

          Funny you should mention that Gret

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Typing skills

          I do a bit of volunteer work for a nursing home where the inmates are not to disabled actually it is directly across the road from where I live and I keep saying that I should be in there but that’s another story. 😀

          Anyway whenever I go over there to fix something the oldies want to show me the latest Porn Sites that they have found while surfing the net. Now this is something that I totally lack any interest in but I do get a good laugh at the way that some of these people carry on and the women are the worst offenders as they not only insist on showing me the sights but give me sound effects as well. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3262333

          Brilliant Collaboration

          by speed diva ·

          In reply to Dvorak vs QWERTY

          Gret, you’ve just given me a BRILLIANT idea! I’ll unlearn “hunt and peck” and put my fingers on the “right” keys, when all these “correct is better” people unlearn QWERTY and switch to DVORAK!

          Besides, we’ll probably all be learning a new way to type once we’re wearing our computers on our wrists! So we can’t play the “I’ve been doing it this way too long” card, can we?

        • #3262835

          Here’s to the future

          by levannah44 ·

          In reply to Brilliant Collaboration

          Good one, Diva. Trouble is, I don’t think you’ll have to unlearn anything. Whether you’ve been hunting and pecking for the last twenty years, or QWERTYing will make no difference.

          Everyone will be equal! No more of this “I can do it better than you can” stuff! It’ll look like those guys in Star Trek when they hold their wrists close to their mouths and go mumble mumble!
          Everyone’ll think you’re crazy!

          Well, no, everyone’ll be doing it that way in any case, so we’ll all be crazy! Because your watch will become your computer, and you’ll only be able to input through voice recognition. And that watch/computer will be so powerful it’ll make today’s computers look like kids’ toys.

          You like betting?


    • #3243699

      Your employee?

      by craig herberg ·

      In reply to Typing

      If it’s your employee, send him/her to keyboarding class. If not, you’ll just have to grin and bear it. I must admit, however, that some people must think that the keys are not always in the same place as last time!

    • #3243654

      QWERTY keyboards

      by robmcinnes ·

      In reply to Typing

      As some of you may be aware the QWERTY keyboard was not designed for speed it was design to slow typists down and to stop keyboards, those things you really did have to hit jamming. So if you want a user to type faster why not recreate the keyboard layout to allow this?

      • #3262363

        But then…

        by redcell ·

        In reply to QWERTY keyboards

        the QWERTY typist would be hunters a peckers just like everyone else. And they couldn’t tout about how many WPM they could beat out of a keyboard. lol

    • #3243526

      Workers are too lazy, period!

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Typing

      They don’t have the time to learn how to save time.

      It is the same excuse for not upgrading to new versions or using anything but M$ OFFICE and Windows. They (kind of) know this and don’t have the fortitude to learn anything more than they apsolutly have to.

      For some it is ability, for most it is just pure laziness. And this is at all levels of the business food chain so who is going to mandate that the CEO or President HAS to learn how to type?

      • #3243519

        Part of not changing

        by jck ·

        In reply to Workers are too lazy, period!

        also has to do with achieving “goals”…which means…if your IT director slates projects for the manager to delegate to his employees, then you have no time to send all your people about migrating to other software and OSes without risking schedule on what “the man” wants done.

        Plus, migration often does mean learning new stuff. And when corporate heads see the cost of sending the critical staff to training that have to learn it on the quick…they take a step back and then give us the “that isn’t cost effective”, even tho in a 5 year timeframe migrating to a Linux would probably save billions for large corporations.

        That’s the problem tho with everything in business…business is about being “short-sighted”…only seeing upcoming goals…and profits.

        If you can’t make sure that goal is met and that exec can’t get his wife that new Jag for her birthday like he promised…you’re not gonna get things the way you want.

        As for CEOs and stuff learning new things…all they really need to learn is email and how to watch porn on their pc. hahahaha

        of course, ya do have to motivate folks to learn new stuff…I mean…who wants to learn things over again?

        • #3245155

          Learning new things

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Part of not changing

          Jck – I agree with you about learning new things to a point. I find that in technology, techies like to learn new things and will jump on it PROVIDED they actually get to use it. That has been an issue for me, if I have to learn something then I should be using those skills in my job (especially if the job requires that I learn it). What I find though is that upper management wants these new skills, but then doesn’t implement them.

          So, if I don’t get to use it what is the point in trying to learn it. I like to learn, but I learn best by doing. Giving myself projects at home doesn’t (for me at least) have the same rewards as doing it for a customer.

        • #3244329

          Learning for the sake of learning

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Learning new things

          is it’s own reward sometimes.

          I will learn things I find interesting, regardless of if I will actually use that knowledge at work or not.

          Then there is always the cross-over knowledge. Knowing how something is done over here helps you figure out a way to do something over there.

          Everyone has their own level of motivation and rewards, and who is to say who is right and who is wrong?

          I need to go LEARN how to play solitare now.

        • #3244270

          Learning ofr its own sake …

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Learning for the sake of learning

          I wasn’t saying I don’t like to learn for the sake of learning, I was talking specifically about extra required learning at work that never gets used and probably wasn’t in my interest area. So, the motivation is lower.

          I like to learn by doing in general. So, anything I want to learn, I make sure I am going to use it in some way – volunteerism, job, family, friends, etc.

        • #3244103

          Was meant as a more general comment

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Learning ofr its own sake …

          not directed at you specifically.

          Different people learn differnt things in different ways for different reasons.

          Not saying anything is wrong with it.

          I have a running thing with my boys (age 13 now) at the end of the day “I learned more than you did today”, and then we talk about what we learned to see who actually did learn more that day. Helps to keep them motivated and curious. Not to mention it is hard to walk around being a Know-it-all if I don’t know it all! lol!


        • #3245497


          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Was meant as a more general comment

          I think that is great about you and your kids. Of course, you have to keep up with them and all this new fangled stuff now don’t yeah! 🙂 🙂 😉

          I think though you hit on a key point – motivation. It is critical to find what motivates people and use that to keep the learning going.

        • #3244325

          I’m a little different

          by jck ·

          In reply to Learning new things

          I don’t get a big rush out of doing IT stuff for people anymore. That went out with my burnout in 1999 after being worked for months on 80 hour weeks, not seeing the sun come up, etc.

          I get little rushes when I find chinks in Microsoft’s .NET architecture tho. I mean. If I can find them within 6 months by myself, then I would dare to say MS doesn’t check too hard for them.

          And yes, management often will want things but let them fall short of being done…usually because of fiscal concerns.

          That’s one of the reasons why I like working for a government department now. Because if I know I need something and it’s necessary to do my job, I know my boss will go to bat for me and get it through finance.

          You’re responsible in government (save elected representatives) to do the work right the first time, no matter if it runs over 10% or not…the people can’t be handed a piece of crap.

          Corporate enterprise is only truly responsible to give the public a product they will buy…and deliver the maximum dividend to the share holder as they can to keep their money invested. Quality often gets shorted.

          So…in the end…getting new processes don’t get implemented because it’s seen as “unnecessary” when it comes down to the bottom line. Bosses will tell you otherwise, but you can be guaranteed that if a project is nixed that some number has put their bonus in jeopardy in almost every case.

          That includes doing things to improve the company.

        • #3244089

          Teching for others on the side

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I’m a little different

          I admit that I am a lot tighter about this myself. Only takes getting burned a few times to step back from the fire.

          My biggest peave is when people ask your opinion when getting a new computer. They have seen the new SMELL computer at the local appliance store and just want you to stoke off their ego, not to give a real opinion.

          The other thing is, I almost NEVER make house calls anymore. They drop the system off at my house with the full understanding it may take a few days for me to get to it. If it is at my house setup, I can use that free 3 minutes while I am waiting for my microwave popcorn to pop, or while the next lvl for BVN loads to look at what they are whining about.

          Bad thing is, no one has their disks anymore so I have to determine what they need and start it downloading before going to bed (can’t take my bandwidth and get fragged because if it!~) so it is usually a few days on that and most of the crap people pick up these daze require a format anyways.

          I need to find a cutie that needs me to fix their computer, then I will do a house call!

          Just back away for a while. Tech is to fun to let it get turned into just another day in the orafice.

    • #3245171

      I agree, that is “a little unusual and petty”

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to Typing

      Personally, I think the convenience of being able to type makes it hard to understand why people would not learn it, especially when I consider how irritating it was to hunt and peck.

      However, to be irritated at somebody else’s inability is terribly petty–unless that inability leads them to take something that belongs to you, as in Welfare or tax breaks for churches.

      “Besides not being productive” – you mean that without this skill anybody who uses a computer does so less productively than they might if they learned how to type, not that they are not productive at all.

      “should be a requirement” – or we could make non-typists wear little yellow stars, and send them off to special camps for a little while, where they can concentrate on developing this supremely important skill for the sake of the Public.

      “i also don’t understand why someone using a computer wouldn’t want to learn how to type.” Agreed. And when I own a company where this is an issue, I can include typing as a job requirement.

      • #3262349

        Smarts Trumps Skill

        by speed diva ·

        In reply to I agree, that is “a little unusual and petty”

        Sometimes “smarts” trumps “skill.” When starting my own business in 1988, I took temporary office jobs through a PC placement service. I wasn’t a programmer, so those gigs were usually secretarial or data entry. (Except I got paid more than those who came in through secretarial services. EE-haa!)

        At McGuire Thomas partners in Los Angeles (while they were building the tower with the white crown that shows in every film including a Los Angeles skyline), I shared a double cubicle with a “real secretary.”

        She typed 50-100% faster than I did. Yet I never had to stay after 5:00 to finish my work, and she almost always did. (I’m typing this post with two fingers on each hand, my right thumb, and occasionally, just to keep it interesting, I use a third finger on my left hand. OF COURSE I’M LOOKING AT THE KEYBOARD! How else am I going to hit the right keys? Duh! 😀 )

        We were using WordPerfect back then. Nope. She didn’t seem to know how to edit in Reveal Codes mode. Never met a macro she could stomach. Etc. In fact, she couldn’t even edit her boss’s letters to make him or her sound smarter–which I always did. (My boss rarely noticed; his thinking he was that good of a writer saved me the time and effort of having to convince him my way was better. It was a match made in heaven.)

        Plus, I didn’t have to deliver coffee. That also saved me time. (The temp service required women working at MTP to wear heels. I confessed: I could not wear high heels and carry coffee: take your pick.)

        We were both skilled, to be sure. But being a baby geek enabled me to get a lot more done than she did.

        And I don’t think keeping my fingers on the “right” keys or staring only at the copy or the screen would have made me noticeably faster.

        As several have said, churning out the work, getting the job done, or even “efficiency” if you prefer that word, speaks louder than test scores.

        Oops — here I am ranting about productivity instead of doing my work. My bad. Gotta go!

        –WHOOSH! Six-Finger Speed Diva

        PS: I took typing twice. Neither time cured me. 😀 😀

        • #3262768

          Really helps when you know the program

          by m.l.barron ·

          In reply to Smarts Trumps Skill

          Speed Diva, I couldn’t agree more. Although I touch type I am not very fast (a modest 45wpm.) But I always make it a point to learn the program I am using including any keyboard or mouse shortcuts. As a computer tech with a local government, I have seen many people doing things like using the up cursor key to get all the way to the top of a multi-page document or holding down the delete key to delete a whole paragraph. That’s just not efficient. Oh, and my personal pet peeve, using the space bar instead of tabs.

          I have shown users shortcuts. Some users are appreciative and thrilled to know a more efficient way, others complain that they will never be able to remember that ctrl-home will take them to the top of the document. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

        • #3262584

          But most are not even taught this stuff

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Really helps when you know the program

          In the first place. I recently went to a specialist college which was teaching word and when I asked about doing a “Mail Merge” I was told that they didn’t do any of the complicated things there just learned to use the program. But I’m still wondering how they teach the program without teaching what is a fairly basic thing like a Mail Merge. Of course the keyboard shortcuts and the rest are totally ignored and I do not know what else. 🙂

          If they considered a Mail Merge a complicated function they must only teach the very basic stuff like where the keys are on the keyboard and how to open the program. 😀

          Col ]:)

    • #3244332

      It took me…

      by dwiebles ·

      In reply to Typing

      10 minutes to type this response…

    • #3245779

      Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Typing

      Here we have a post started by someone how has been a member since 1999, has posted on entry in one thread and started this one post.

      “He/she” never came back after the original post to engage in a discussion, so why start a discussion?

      My question is, do you think that there are sleeper accounts that get randomly used to start conversation that would get people going?

      May have to start a discussion asking just that.

      • #3245697

        sleeper accounts

        by jck ·

        In reply to Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

        er…maybe…kinda like there were viruses who a lot of people thought were perpetuated by the anti-virus companies in the late 1980s?

        Or, like the aliens who live among us and report back to the mothership that hides behind the moon?

        Or how about the fear I have of gremlins hiding in my shoes!!!!!!

        haha…sorry…it’s raining outside and I’m bored…it’s possible…I wouldn’t doubt it…it’s a way to keep things moving and guide things

        • #3245504

          Are you trying to say

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to sleeper accounts

          that there aren’t any aliens behind the moon? How do you know, have you ever looked there?

        • #3245494

          Yes…I have looked there

          by jck ·

          In reply to Are you trying to say

          One night, myself along with Tim Leary, Bob Dylan, and David Crosby went with David Gilmore to the dark side of the moon. It was getting to the point where I’m no fun anymore, because I was comfortably numb in my silent lucidity.

          So after riding on the marekesh express, riding that train high on cocaine…we went zip zoom to the moon.

          All we found was a purple haze and some guys with shaved heads and blue suits with Nike tennis shoes loading on the express bus on the highway to hell singing “Kumbayah”. 😉

          Feel like Monday yet? 😀

        • #3246077

          The dark side of the moon

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Yes…I have looked there

          Actually, if you listen carefully, “there is no dark side of the moon, in fact it’s ALL dark”

        • #3246009

          But if they named a great album after it

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to The dark side of the moon

          It MUST be true.

          Remember ALBUMS people? the big round things? Back with the art work on the cover was almost as important as the work that went into the music?

        • #3246006

          You mean …

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to But if they named a great album after it

          Vinyl – as in the LP days and real stereo – Right? 😉 Some of us still have our collections and a turntable to play them on.

        • #3244060

          That’s the point, and they admit it

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to But if they named a great album after it

          While the album explores insanity, it is comprised of background voices and miscellaneous audio clips.

          When the album finishes with ‘Eclipse’, it once again silences into a heartbeat, in the background there is a common voice that makes realizations throughout the album to lead it’s story. He says “There is no dark side of the moon really. matter of fact it?s all dark.”

          It’s an album I know well, that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I read your comments about the dark side of the moon.

        • #3262433

          Reply To: Typing

          by hcetrepus ·

          In reply to sleeper accounts

          You mean that AV companies _aren’t_ responsible for viruses still????

      • #3245638

        What is more likely is that in an attempt to become self aware

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

        The Evolution Lie and Why am I Voting for GWB have scoured the data base and started picking up unused accounts and started new discussions just to get more input so they can evolve further. 🙂

        Today TR tomorrow the World. 😉

        Next week Skynet destroys the entire place because we are driving it mad! 😀

        Col ]:)

      • #3243911

        Re: Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

        by jasonce ·

        In reply to Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

        Some of us just enjoy spending time reading threads like these…. but don’t always find we have to have something to say..

        Anyway whats wrong with this topic. Its a valid question – what level of typing skills should people have if they are going to be in IT? I think it depends how much of their job is typing.
        If they are a techo they have to understand the technology and how to fix it and how to get the job done.
        If they are a receptionist who types long reports then yes they should have good typing skills.

        As long as you have reasonable keyboard awareness eg. two finger typing then it doesn’t really matter as most IT tasks only call for a few commands here and there much of the stuff we do these days is point and click anyway.

        I have been in IT 15 years and spend most of my time 2 finger typing because I find it easier. And yes I have been on both sides of the fence… I did touch typing with all 10 fingers when I was at school but I find when programming or belting out commands that the symbols and numbers slow me down to the point where touch typing is slower.

        When writing a 500 word report however I find that touch typing helps speed things up but I wouldn’t say its part of my every day job to write reports. I don’t think touch typing is really a necessary job requirement unless your doing lots of data entry eg. Maybe on a helpdesk where you are constantly writing up support ticket reports.

        • #3243827

          My point exactly

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Re: Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

          Well said JasonCe. I think I tried to make this point also. It very much depends on the job role/function. There are times when typing skills are important and times when it is not.

        • #3243792

          Reply To: Typing

          by dirtylaundry ·

          In reply to Re: Are there sleeper accounts setup by TR?

          I agree wth you Jason on all your points as I am not a *sleeper* accnt but I do read the threads daily since I joined and simply don’t post for the sake of it. I also took *keyboarding* in high school (back in ’86) and left there typing upwards in the 60-70 wpm range and it was very helpful for a while, but as my jobs did not require constant nor daily typing, and my computer use was DOS and modem strings, touch typing waned. I no longer use the home row even when I am typing a report due to being out of practice – but when I attempted i in a speed typing program, I began to develop hand cramps LOL so I now use a combination – I use more than my the *2 finger mode* and my speed is nominal. Spell check is my friend.

    • #3245686


      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Typing

      Just sat here thinking while replying to another post.
      And remembered the ZX Spectrum and it’s rubber keyboard. Thinking in terms of language specific input. The thing I can’t remember is what did Symbol Shift & K did. I know I used to use it regularly.

      For those who never saw this wonderful beast the keyboard was layed out so when entering code the keys had the BASIC language statements on them and as it was being interpreted as you typed, once it had enough clues it could decide which of the potential (5 ?) combinations you wanted when you pressed that key.

      • #3246089


        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to Keyboards

        I had one of those beasts as a kid. Then I got a commodore +4, then an Amstrad 128. I also have an old Sharp MZ 80K in my parents attic. You had to load basic in with an analogue tape (in the in-built tape player). It also had an inbuilt 8″ mono screen…. sweet!! 🙂

        • #3243908

          Days Of Yore

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to ZX

          Dragon 32.
          Commodore 128
          Did you ever bump in to a MemoTech 512 ?
          First proper computer at work to use , i.e. not a dumb terminal was a Commodore Pet.

    • #3245592

      Typing is a skill

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to Typing

      Some people have it – others don’t. Don’t judge people by their abilities. I’m certain that the ‘hunt and peckers’ who you love to hate can run circles around you when it comes to those areas where they excel.

    • #3245849

      Reply To: Typing

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to Typing

      Unless one is being paid based on their typing ability, one’s typing speed should not be a measurement of performance. Is the person fulfilling their job requirements?

    • #3243915


      by whatthe? ·

      In reply to Typing

      There are two new concepts in English composition – punctuation and capitalization. You should look into them unless you are too busy improving your blinding typing speed.

      • #3243914

        Kerouac J ?

        by tim.maher ·

        In reply to tYPING

        Neither capitalisation nor punctuation are really required are they.
        Let’s face it, “On The Road” may have been written on a Lear Seigler terminal attached to some mini-computer produced by the BUNCH.
        Soooo much faster than stuff going through a 3278 and without the downside of block mode.

        Typing? Huh! ;-}

    • #3243910

      this is pretty silly what your next policy?

      by jrice ·

      In reply to Typing

      Most techs don’t type well, and no learning how to type is not high on my list of things to learn. Got my hands full keeping up with my job. So even though I use a computer a fair amount and yes even at home does that mean my 15 years experence would be much better if I learned how to type properly? And BTW there are lots of techs that like using the two fingers ( one on each hand) and they actually type pretty good. Me on the other hand I sure I use at least 3 fingers per hand, and I average about 45 to 50 words per minute. Why the heck do I have to do better then that?

    • #3243909

      Technician, not a typist

      by our_george ·

      In reply to Typing

      I have had hand co-ordination difficulties since junior school when I had to give playing the violin.I do not profess to being a typist, I leave that to those more able.Instead I am an IT trainer, in all things to do with the practicalities of using IT equipment – network management/administration, hardware/software installation & configuration etc.
      I know my job and I do my work very well. No it is not a pre-requisite to have advanced typing skills.
      G Cook

      • #3243903

        A personal testimony

        by nobodyhome ·

        In reply to Technician, not a typist

        Way back in ancient times when I attended high school (late thirties), all students at my high school who were on the college prep track were required to take typing. I would not have taken it otherwise: at other schools, typing was considered suitable only for girls training for secretarial work.

        I have been forever grateful, and urged my sons (all on a college prep track) to take typing as an elective since it was not required at their school. Two of them did, and use it daily to speed their work; the third wishes he had.

      • #3243902

        Working with computer doesn’t need

        by laman ·

        In reply to Technician, not a typist

        Totally agreed. I am a network support engineer, and I work with all the IT equipment all the time. However it does not mean that I need to be good at typing. There is a lot of clicking, and some entries here and there, but I don’t think there is any different between using all of my 10 fingers or just 1 on both hands.

        CEng, MIEE

        • #3262577

          Reply To: Typing

          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to Working with computer doesn’t need

          I think the original post was mostly referring to those who have no idea what keys are even on the keyboard. I work with several people who have been on the job for at least the 2 years that I’ve been there and if you tell them to hit the enter key, they still have to look for it.

          If you at least know the keys, it does make you more proficient in your job. There’s no way around that. If I spend 10 seconds looking for each key to type the word “compliance” that’s a little over a minute and a half versus spending 1 second per letter when you know the keyboard.

          I don’t think it originally meant that you have to be a speed typist. But at least know the keyboard!

      • #3243886

        Judge a man by his typing…lol

        by cleanjoe ·

        In reply to Technician, not a typist

        Well, All I can say is I hope you get happy in the pants you get upset in.. Some poeple have the ablitiy to type without looking at the keyboard. I do not, but I can put a computer together with my eyes shut. Some people can drive a car and play with the radio with ease,and some can not. I guess what I am saying is , you don’t judge the person buy what you can do. If it upsets you that much, go and find out why this person is , (as you say)”one figering the key board and not looking at the screen” maybe you will find that he has a problem that can not be corrected.

        I do know that the more I use the computer, typing does come a little easier.
        And one more thing, Is he causing you not to do your job? slowing you down? Then if he is say something. But if he is not slowing your job down, Get over it.
        Is he causing work not to get done at his job, that’s up to your boss to find out!
        I bet you are one that finds any weakness in someone and makes it a big deal.

        Have a good day

        Joey Cummings

      • #3262515

        Typing less relevant for a Technician

        by a.o’harra ·

        In reply to Technician, not a typist

        For those of us who convince the typing-boxes to keep working, traditional typing skills are less than relevant. We use 3-4 different shift-keys, multi-key combinations, and our most important keyboard function is observing the hands of others when they have Mystery Problems. If we actually touch the QWERTY part of the keyboard it’s usually to relay a complex idea using only simple words.

    • #3243906

      Blame Remington and small hands

      by bigfella ·

      In reply to Typing

      Sorry, my friend, but I find your point somewhat patronising, to say the least. I use a computer all day every day, have done for a decade or more. I’m a lousy typist but I’m a bloody good technician, and a bloody good auditor. I’m also a tolerably good finger style guitarist so my hands are quit ewell connected to my brain. I’m also a baby-boomer, so I’m amongst the world’s ruling class.

      My wife is an awesome typist. Precise, really fast, still does Pitman shorthand too. She’s so efficient with the keyboard and wordsmithing it’s breathtaking. And just why is that? She learned transcription skills at secretarial college as a teenager and has practiced them ever since. She learned without spell checkers, and in an environment where making mistakes wasn’t allowed because of the time it took to do the rework.

      You see the first problem for those of us who’ve come to the keyboard significantly later than our formative years is that the damn keys are in the wrong place! Who was the clown that put the e under the third finger of your left hand, and the a under your left pinky?

      As I understand it the answer is Remington’s of gunsmith fame who made the first mechanical typewriters in the mid 1800s. With commendable attention to the KISS principle, they put the keys in alphabetical order. Soon they had the machines lock up because “typists” could easily beat the mechanical linkages and there were complaints. So with ergonomics firmly in mind,in the purest sense, of course, they scrambled the keys….and came up with the QWERTY keyboard as a solution taht slowed the typists not the machine. In solving a symptom they caused a headache for those like me ever since….

      For teh second problem you need to go back teh teh secretarial profession that grew from Remington’s QWERTY keyboard and the fact come the computer revolution most professional typists were females. It’s certainly true in the UK and NZ that the fairer sex have smaller hands than us blokes. It follows therefore that the average keyboard is too small for those of us with decent sized hands.

      All it needs to improve transcription speeds is for the IT industry to come with a man-sized alternative to a cowboy’s gunsmith’s joke. That means either a big keyboard with keys in the right order, or an effective voice or hand writing recognition interface.

      • #3261470

        Well explained

        by john.bennetts ·

        In reply to Blame Remington and small hands

        You have, perhaps unwittingly, explained why my children all learned to touch-type before their 10th birthday, yet I peck away in my 50’s. Their hands were still small and able to fit the keys of the Commodare 64 they were using! Seriously, though, I have tried to learn to touch type, using two popular commercial tutoring programs, but have a very long way to go.

        My suggestion is… if this issue is important to you, start young and help those around you to do likewise.

    • #3243905

      Perhaps this is an over-philosophical answer . . .

      by martin_ternouth ·

      In reply to Typing

      I could touch-type fluently by my early teens on an old manual
      typewriter. In my twenties I had a job that involved typing
      invoices in multiple copies with carbon-paper and the only way
      to make the last copy legible was to hit at the keys with one
      finger. Soon after that I had a secretary and so didn’t type at all
      much until I bought a Microwriter with six keys in 1980, which
      used finger combinations analogous to a flute or guitar. It had a
      virtually useless display (20 characters not back-lit) so the best
      way to edit was to download to a PC or an Apple and do it
      afterwards. Because the combinations of fingers were more
      intuitive than key positions on a Qwerty keyboard I could do 50
      words a minute standing up in the dark in a swaying commuter
      train. From that I learned the importance of getting down exactly
      the word that described what you wanted to say, rather than
      concentrating on how it was spelt. Spelling you can do
      afterwards, the exact word disappears with the moment. Having
      used computers since the early 80s I have occasionally
      experimented with touchtyping again but find that looking at the
      screen distracts my train of thought. A misspelt word jars the
      stream of consciousness. When you are pecking at the keyboard
      you are aware from motor feedback of having mistyped but the
      brain somehow holds it in backing store until you reach the end
      of a line of argument. Perhaps the visual input from the screen
      is somehow dealt with the brain more urgently and disrupts this.

      So if you see me pecking, don’t get irritated – I have given it a
      lot of deep thought.

      • #3243864

        What is Carbon Paper?

        by glenn ·

        In reply to Perhaps this is an over-philosophical answer . . .

        Just kidding!
        I am also a non-conformist typist. I use a few fingers, not just one. I dont hunt and peck, but if I can’t see the keyboard, I am screwed!
        I had to take a typing test this week for a job with a local Police Department and managed to eek out 38 words per minute. Not lighting fast, but I was able to exceed their requirement of 30. Perhaps Mavis Beacon wouldn’t be proud of me, but I feel great about it!

    • #3243901

      One finger typing keyboard?

      by suzarin ·

      In reply to Typing

      My query may not be directly connected with the discussion theme. Bear with me.
      The standard keyboard, as we all know, is designed for ten-finger typing. Its dachshund shape comes from conceiving it in two halves for the two hands. Typing on it takes only minimum movement of the hands from wrist downwards, making typing fast and less strenuous.

      But quite some people type with only one finger, which demands movement of the whole hand from shoulder downwards. To them, the keyboard is always either far too left or far too right, depending upon the hand of their typing finger. Consequently, typing becomes slow and strenuous.

      Hand movement is easier up and down than left and right. If the keyboard is square or crescent shaped, one finger typing also can become faster and less strenuous. Are such keyboards already available?

    • #3243898

      Not Important, Not Urgent But Good To Have

      by gl_ching ·

      In reply to Typing

      It’s good to have a company that all staffs can type fast. But in real world, there is none because everyone of us are train to specialize in one skills.

      So far, there is NO policies stated that required every staffs to be fast in typing. It’s only stated in certain job requirements e.g secretary, personal assistant etc.

      If you can’t stand people slow in typing, then enroll them for typing lesson. End of story…

    • #3243895

      I can’t believe . . .

      by ewriggs9 ·

      In reply to Typing

      . . . the negative responses! I agree! But I’ll go even farther. I think **every** person should be taught touch-typing in middle school, and continue in high school. Too many people are impaired in productivity by their inability to type accurately and rapidly.

      When I taught at a well-known university, I was criticized for requiring all papers and homework to be typed – and submitted on a floppy. The complaint was that, “Some of the students don’t type / have a computer.” To which I replied, “They can learn, and there is the computer lab.”

      Now, most colleges and universities require a computer on entrance. That being the case, everyone should learn rapid, accurate typing in middle and high school.

      There is no hope for the current non-typists who think they are productive programming with one finger. Only if the other 9 have been amputated would I accept that.


    • #3243891

      yes it is petty

      by a.c ·

      In reply to Typing

      to exclude someone on the basis of the speed or accuracy of their typing when that is not the major roll within their lob is, to put it mildly, discriminatory. As in all things in life not everyone has an apptitude for typing (myself included, although as a developer, writing good code is more important than writing it as quickly as possible). Maybe the real issue is, why the hell are we still using a keyboard layout designed to slow people down (the original qwert layout was defined to stop people from typing too fast on mechanical typewriters), rather than should we be forcing people to type faster on a bad layout (lets face it, there have been several attempts to move away from the qwerty layout that have been reasonably simple to use and learn, that give very high typing speeds (and only require one handed operation), but have just not been accepted because they are not qwert (or because someone realised you just might get work done far too quickly))

    • #3243868

      Who Needs What

      by leisureman ·

      In reply to Typing

      I would say that basically is would seem quite obvious who has to be able to type fast and without many mistakes.

      It is my understanding that a quilified programmer shoud typr fast enough.

      But I agree with those who say that it is not a point to make you feel irritated if there is someone who cannot do it.

      If they are capable of producing something that does not involve much typing but is useful, and they do it well, than they are an asset.

    • #3243863


      by abeduran ·

      In reply to Typing

      There are many users out there who can type pretty fast, and accurately, using only two fingers (one on left hand, one on right hand). After reading your original post I noticed that you appear to be using one finger to type. When you type with one finger only you cannot hit the shift key in conjunction with another key. I would suggest that you use the accessibility options in Windows and turn on the sticky keys feature. It will help with your typing by allowing you to capitilize the first letter of the first word in a sentence and by allowing you to capitalize the word ‘I’. If I were your boss I would have reprimanded you regarding your typing errors.


    • #3243857

      Typing….Dalin your are right

      by joseph.r.piazza ·

      In reply to Typing

      You are right you are being petty. I am one of those individuals who uses 1 finger. And because I have poor coordination, I still hit the wrong key too many times (30%). So while I argue with myself that I should learn typing (only 1 in office who 1 finger pecks) and I pick up typing software last year, I have other things to do than bsides learning to type and I am unwilling to give up “home time” to time do it. I am old fashion….typing was a requisite for a secretary. So keep it that way. In 10 years, typing will probably be antiquated as voice recogination SW finally becomes affordable and perfective.

      • #3243821

        Wanna bet peeps ?

        by bill.affeldt ·

        In reply to Typing….Dalin your are right

        I am a p%^^ poor typist. I have HUGE hands and hit multiple keys often. Changing keyboard often does not help either. Work key board for my laptop, Laptop keyboard, Personal laptop keyboard, Home desk top keyboard. I always have to look for the delete, page, and other function keys.

        However what really annoys me is people using internet slang in office correspondence. LOL ROFLMBO
        I Wanna bet u some peeps get upset bout this.

    • #3243854

      Low on the priority list

      by michaelpo ·

      In reply to Typing

      There are many skills and attributes that are more important than typing speed. I have been managing and hiring technical staff for many years and have never considered administering a typing test. Typing does get better with experience and I have never met a tech who could not type at all. I will focus on technical knowledge, people skills and problem solving.

      • #3243844

        Second That!

        by tconard ·

        In reply to Low on the priority list

        Exactly my feelings on this subject.

      • #3260807

        It’s a measure of other things…

        by dirtycar74 ·

        In reply to Low on the priority list

        The ability to type is just what you can see.

        What really matters is what it means if they haven’t put forth the EFFORT, or have ever tried. The important question here is this: If it were a requirement, would the person(s) you speak so negatively about even TRY to improve? This measures a lot more than their ability to type, it measures their ability and desire to learn, and THATS what is important in today’s IT field.

        I see several IT personnel that can’t navigate Windows without taking ten minutes to find certain basic system folders; I see several supervisors and managers with terrible people-skills. But they try, and in some situations, that’s all you can ask for.

    • #3243826

      Typing should be mandatory for all

      by jim asbille ·

      In reply to Typing

      I took one semester of typing in High School 25 years ago and it has been one of the most useful things I learned. Since almost everyone will be required to use a computer in their lives it should be required to take typing in High School. It is relatively painless and pays off in the future.

    • #3243824

      Bottom line

      by acp2g ·

      In reply to Typing

      If they are productive at their typing speed, let it go. If they are not productive at their typing speed, then make recommendation or require training.

      But before any actions are taken, make certain your analysis of their productivity/non-productivity is actually a result of their typing speed and not your personal pet peeve.

    • #3243820

      Run on sentences, and the misuse of the comma…

      by sholbrook ·

      In reply to Typing

      I could care less how fast a person types. What bothers me are the folks that have no knowledge of grammar. Sure they can type fast, but their emails are usually full of run-on sentences, commas, and lack any white space at all. Does anyone know how to use a semi-colon, or how to break a run-on sentence into a few short sentences? Does anyone care?

      Whatever happened to folks thinking that someone has to read what they write? There is more time wasted by folks having to read a poorly written message, than by the writer taking time to get it right the first pass.

      Dalin – Perhaps it’ll be wise for you to slow your typing down, stop worrying about what others do, and take a grammar class.

      • #3243817

        I agree

        by jim asbille ·

        In reply to Run on sentences, and the misuse of the comma…

        This is a far more serious problem than typing speed. The lack of concern for grammar, spelling, and capitalization in emails and forums is rampant. This forum is a case in point. We all need to learn to stop and proof read before pressing send.

      • #3243803

        Right On !!!

        by jfowler ·

        In reply to Run on sentences, and the misuse of the comma…

        Oh brother, did you nail that one!
        Thank you! I was beginning to think that I was the only person on the planet who is appalled by what passes for English / Grammer in most e-communications.

      • #3262319

        Lynne Truss Cares

        by alec kercsó ·

        In reply to Run on sentences, and the misuse of the comma…

        Find a copy of _Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation_ by Lynne Truss. This gem of a book is a delight for anyone who agonizes over the misunderstood semicolon, the abused apostrophe, and the vanishing colon.

        Sholbrook, you sound like someone who shares Ms. Truss’s views; believe me, this book is for you.

    • #3243819

      Too Late

      by mollenhourb9 ·

      In reply to Typing

      Sorry dude,
      Your pet peave isn’t and shouldn’t be a policy anywhere. I agree that typing is a key skill to using a computer, but if they can do the work, who cares how they manage it. Yes, it is hard to watch, but the issue has to be addressed at the middle school level, not in the job market. Everyone in my school district was required to take a touch typing class in seventh grade.

    • #3243816


      by starscream ·

      In reply to Typing

      It would be unfair to ensure tech staff can type fast without looking at the keyboard. I am an IT Technician and I work with manys different computers with many different keyboard layouts. Things simple as the space bar positioning or size are different on laptops, computers, different model/make laptops or desktop keyboards. I’d rather look at the keyboard and be an accurate typist than be a touch typist making many mistakes due to the different layouts of keyboards.

      So I strongly disagree. Also people get used to the their home keyboards then work has a completely different one. People may move around work stations. Something as simple as the texture of a key surface hinders typing performance. And lets face it some laptop layouts are stupid! I’ve seen laptops with a single windows xp key anchored to the top right of the screen where the scroll lock should be! narrow enter keys (as if it were a shift key on its side) do my head in too!

    • #3243813

      Petty ? – Well, Yes!

      by ali40961 ·

      In reply to Typing

      I definitely do not type using the “correct method” as taught in many typing classes. BUT I can type well enough to bring in close to 100K every year, working 3 days a week.

      I guess if YOU were my boss, I would be unemployed.

      But then again, YOU would be taking the heat for discriminating against MY DISABILITY. My right hand index finger was smashed in a car door many years ago and prevents me from typing the “Normal/Correct” way.

    • #3243811

      You’re kidding right?

      by jfowler ·

      In reply to Typing

      Your assumptions are flawed. Not everyone who never learned to “type” uses just one finger. (I use four! – Five if ya wanna count thumbs:-)
      “Typing” is for Administrative Assistants, Secretaries, and Receptionists. The majority of computer users do not need to acquire that level of skill in order to use their machines efficiently and productively.
      Aren’t there enough real problems we can discuss?

      • #3243777

        I agree

        by randolph.h.baber ·

        In reply to You’re kidding right?

        I agree. If the worst thing one has to worry about is other people’s typing skills then life must be fairly dull and unimaginative.

        I have been using computers since my first Timex Sinclair ZX80. Now I work for an educational institution in IT and I still can’t type very fast; my skills (or lack there of) as a typist do not seem to bother my supervisor.

        My wife who is an Administrative Assistant can dance all over a keyboard and out type me (accurately) any day. I, on the other hand, can build a computer and have it up and running before she can finish one of her long reports. You tell me who is more important. People will find (and improve) their skillsets where it will make them money. This reminds me about a “chicken or the egg” situation.

        • #3262436


          by jfowler ·

          In reply to I agree

          My fingers know where the keys are even if my brain does not, and looking at the keyboard occasionally while typing does not diminish any of my other skill sets (I too build computers), nor impinge on my effeciency.
          “Typing”, as it is used in this context, was a valuable skill back in the days before computers when most men did not write their own correspondence. The world has since moved on, we now have fax machines and e-mail… I don’t remember the last time I saw a piece of carbon paper.
          If you know how to “type” great, but leave the rest of us alone.. We’re doing very well without the skill thank you.

        • #3262184

          Well Spoken

          by randolph.h.baber ·

          In reply to Exactly

          I just wanted to say “well spoken”.

    • #3243806

      Morning distraction

      by rob.yetter ·

      In reply to Typing

      I can not believe I wasted 10 minutes reading this thread. Who cares if an IT person can type without looking at the keyboard? I would rather have somebody think about what they are typing, especially code, than typing like they speak, often long winded babble. I look at the keyboard and am occasionally amazed at how fast I can make those little digits find those little squares. Grammar and spelling that is another matter. The ability to communicate effectively is important, quality over quantity.

      Have a nice day.

      • #3262551

        I agree

        by redcell ·

        In reply to Morning distraction

        I am not a fast typer. What I have noticed as a helpdesk/network tech is that I may type slower than some, but I tend to not have to retype or edit as much in the long run. What I really find humrous (in a way) is that the people who are typists don’t seem know much about how to format a document from scratch. They will spend much more time just in formatting than I do on the whole document.
        I also find it a little unnerving when watching a blazing typist do programming and then spend the rest of the day debugging a simple code set. When if they would slow down and type at the speed that they are thinking it would go much smoother.
        Typing or rather copying manuscript is only one kind of typing, and yes if this is the kind of work someone does, then they should be a fast typist.

    • #3243804


      by sonicclang ·

      In reply to Typing

      If you’re a prgrammer you should be fast and accurate. If you’re a techie it doesn’t matter. What I’m more concerned about is the speed at which you use the computer and navigate the OS. I’m as fast as humanly possible at moving around Windows. Yeah, I can type fast, but when a user calls me for help, the last thing I do is type a paper for them.

      Typing speed for techies doesn’t matter at all. Just how fast they can navigate.

    • #3243799

      Quality or Quantity

      by grover99 ·

      In reply to Typing

      OK dalin, while you may type quickly your mastery of the rules of capitalization is a little lacking. You couldn’t get a job here at the TV station, as we have a policy requiring people to type correctly AND quickly.

    • #3243798


      by studioz ·

      In reply to Typing

      How much do you weigh? I bet I can run faster and further than you. I am probably in beter shape than you (and better looking too :-))… But, really… What diference does that make? Just my point… Get a life!!!

    • #3243797

      Spelling is a worse problem

      by stevemissa ·

      In reply to Typing

      Before we teach them to type, how about if everyone learns how to spell. Not to mention grammar! If you don’t know the difference between “there” and “their” you have no business being in the vicinity of a keyboard.

    • #3243796

      Are you kidding?

      by jterry ·

      In reply to Typing

      I do nothing all day but build out new PC’s as replacements in between my job of keeping up with patch management on 160 PC’s. I type with two fingers and still get my job done on time and accurate. I remember at my last job which was nothing more than data entry. There was a woman there that could probably type 150wpm. At the end of the day I had just as much done as she did because for one thing I didn’t have to go back and correct mistakes. When inputting data in to a PC it is more important to be accurate than fast.

    • #3243783

      Typing was for GIRLS…

      by teamdave ·

      In reply to Typing

      At the risk of giving away my age, only girls took typing class when I went to school; that was back when computers were the size of small warehouses and we walked to school barefooted in the snow. I hate that it was that way, because now I’m forever a three-fingered 35WPM Network Administrator.

      • #3243774

        Type the same stuff over and over

        by xt john ·

        In reply to Typing was for GIRLS…

        Though i can type 40 WPM using the hunt and peck method, the joke is we all type the same things repeatedly, and can become balzingly fast at typing things such as administrator and password 50 times a day; command line terms, etc. If touch typing is part of the job, by all means require it. Otherwise let us alone, who get by and get our work done! Copy Con autoexec.bat >>>> took just 3 seconds!!

      • #3262486

        I don’t know where YOU went to school

        by placidair ·

        In reply to Typing was for GIRLS…

        but I went to highschool in the 70s and we had as many guys as girls in the typing classes (and they were obnoxious too).

        • #3262312

          Maybe it was a regional thing

          by teamdave ·

          In reply to I don’t know where YOU went to school

          It was looked on as uncool by the guys, and the teachers were suspicious that a guy taking typing did so just to be in a roomful of girls. It was late 60’s – early 70’s in Texas

        • #3262628

          Survival Stategy

          by stilldreamn ·

          In reply to Maybe it was a regional thing

          Actually typing for guys back in the 60’s was a pretty good survival stategy during the days of the draft. Turned out my husband could type even better then he could shoot, so he spent his tour in Vietnam in an office instead of being cannon fodder.

    • #3243780

      Elimination steps

      by ctos ·

      In reply to Typing

      Hi! First of all, the replies to this question are down right hillarious!
      Well, if you want to eliminate the non-typers, do an elimination process or a typing test. That is how the Personnel department starts weeding out candidates.
      I think it would be a real shame if you were to put your typing requirement at 40 wpm or higher, and then someone that is a real techie and could make your head spin gets eliminated because he can only type 39…dont you?
      And, even though I have taught typing AND computer courses, I still LOOK at the keyboard for numbers and symbols…or use the numberpad for doing calculations…it is a common thing to do when you just dont TRUST your memory on where they are located! When teaching typing to men who never saw a keyboard before, they would do rather nicely at 30 wpm…one finger at a time!

    • #3243778

      no typing required

      by pcross ·

      In reply to Typing

      I am a tech and an assistant network administrator. I don’t type and I can do my job without much typing, I type with three fingers and have decent speed. It should not be a requirement because there much more to learn than typing and I never stop learning.

    • #3243776

      WHY does this bother you?

      by rmrenneboog ·

      In reply to Typing

      dalin, if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it. Everyone, yourself included, can only type as fast as the words they want to use come to mind. If someone is comfortable typing one finger at a time, and they do their work accurately and well, then who (besides yourself) cares whether or not they type 20 or 40 or 60 or 296 words per minute without looking at the keyboard. I have hit typing speeds over 60 wpm on occasion, when the words just come. More normally, a type at about 35 – 40 wpm and make corrections on the fly so that have no corrections to make afterwards, usually a sinbgle proofread and a couple of minor editing additions or deletions. My eyes are pretty much always glued to the keyboard rather than to the screen, because I know what I type on the keyboard will be on the screen when I look at it. I don’t feel that I (or anyone else) needs to watch each letter magically appear on the screen when I’m typing on the keyboard. I mean, the technology has been designed and constructed to work that way dependably, and in any situation would very quickly be replaced if a particular machine did not behave that way. Watching the screen is a holdover from the days of the mechanical typewriter, when the typical secretary HAD to watch the paper to catch every mistake almost before it could happen so the paper communications were clean and looked professional.
      The short answer is that no-one actually needs to type on the keyboard without looking at it, so why even consider requiring it? Get over it.

      • #3262519

        Why should it matter

        by poconochuck ·

        In reply to WHY does this bother you?

        If the person can do his job, why should it matter?

        Of course, in a competetive job market, an employer can set her/his own standards, requiring employees having typing skills.

        Overall, this is much ado about nothing. If you want to learn to type, go ahead. If you think it will make you more competetive, then do it.

    • #3243775


      by knot_mine ·

      In reply to Typing

      Does anyone else find it ironic that somebody who is whining about people who cannot touch type fails to use proper capitalization? When I took typing, use of the shift key was one of the proficiency requirements.

    • #3243772

      Non Typist

      by roboknee ·

      In reply to Typing

      I am not a typist, nor do I wish to be one. I enjoy the fact that I can type about 25 – 30 words per minute while using half of my fingers and not looking at the screen. I don’t believe that a passing grade in typing class should determine whether someone is a good tech. There skillset should be what matters. I work with professional typists (as I call them), and I work with terrible spellers. The poor spelling seems to cause more problems than slower typing. You see, in my MIS department, each tech has a different specialty. The Webmaster/sys admin is an excellent typist and speller. The phone specialist/sys admin: an excellent typist and speller. The other sys admin: an excellent typist and speller. Myself: good typist and excellent speller. Our boss: good typist and excellent speller. Our network administrator who is no longer with us: good typist, bad speller. Ideally you want someone who can type the way that it is taught in school. However, if they don’t, and that is there only downfall, I don’t feel that they should be penalized. You can have a great typing, poor spelling technician whose skills and logical thinking are not as good as the person who is not so good at typing. Which individual is more of an asset? A good tech is hard to come by. I’ll wait the extra five minutes it takes for that person to type up whatever it is they are typing, if I know that the technical portion is completed and golden. But then again, I’m biased because I am not a typist, but I am a darn good tech!

    • #3243768

      It depends

      by ruckda ·

      In reply to Typing

      I am a sysadmin who uses a computer all day long, considered one of the best in our company and a poor typist and it makes very little difference. This reply is probably the longest thing I’ll type all day. Why? GUI interfaces and problem solving. Most functions are done with a mouse but the majority of my time is spent solving problems and analyzing business needs, not typing. On the other hand, if my main function was data entry typing speed could well be vital to my productivity.

    • #3243767

      pretty individual thing

      by slurpee ·

      In reply to Typing

      I am a fairly fast typist and accurate, but the head of our computer dept. types with 2 fingers nearly as fast as anyone in the office…not worth worrying about, I guess.

    • #3243766

      Quality OVER Quantity when coding

      by paulieman_54520 ·

      In reply to Typing

      Who cares how fast they can crank code? What is more important is that the code be quality stuff! I want a code monkey who will methodically take his time with a project and get it done right, the first time. I don’t care if you give me 300 lines of code or 150 in a given amount of time. Chances are, the guy giving me less lines has tighter code. I have seen it for years and years! Monkeys that will type real fast and give me junk code. Their brains are outpacing their fingers.

    • #3243764

      should have stopped after the word petty

      by tjfarley ·

      In reply to Typing

      If you have to say “no offense” or “I know this is petty” before speaking. Just stop there and save everyone somef aggravation.

      • #3262522

        Reply To: Typing

        by sonicclang ·

        In reply to should have stopped after the word petty

        Oh my god you are right on! This is totally off topic, but I HATE when someone says “no offense, but…” or “I hate to be rude, but…” because they’re simply telling you before they speak that they’re about to offend you and/or be rude. Oh man that is one of those things I hate. You should be able to learn to speak to people in a way that doesn’t offend them. Or learn how to speak to them in a non rude fasion.

        • #3261861

          What Are You People Doing?

          by memphisguy ·

          In reply to Reply To: Typing

          I’ve never seen this many posts from us. What’s the subject, world peace? How to stick it to Bill Gates? How to finally stop spam?

          Typing? All of this brainpower hanging out at the TechRepublic website, and we’re getting deep about typing?

          Let me tell ya’ll a secret…Jobs that expect you to type alot have typing requirements. Expecting a techie to have secretary-like typing speed is like expecting an airline pilot to be able to work the ticket desk just like the ticket agents.

          Like expecting your VP to be able to make sorted & stapled copies on the copy machine (ok, there are a few that can).

          Or for your dad, who never cooked a family meal in YOUR life, to make one just as good as mom does.

          These are all scary situations, aren’t they? Of course, you all will tell me there are exceptions to each of those scenarios. All I’m saying is it’s much better to let the pros do what they are paid to do. Typing speed is nice, but please don’t make dad cook.

        • #3260599

          If Dad is in the kitchen every day…

          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to What Are You People Doing?

          Then he should at least be able to make the simple stuff. Same with a pc/keyboard. If you spend all day at a keyboard, you should be able to learn the basics to make yourself more efficient. In my opinion, 2 finger typing is fine if you can do it in a reasonable amount of time. As long as it doesn’t take you all day to type a paragraph…

        • #3261654

          And just how often

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to If Dad is in the kitchen every day…

          Working IT are you expected to actually type something? 😉

          Generally we are faultfinding most of the time and that doesn’t require much typing at all other than some basic command line which are the type of things that we can punch in in our sleep without a problem or the keyboard shortcuts which are an every day thing for most of us which the end user just have never been told about and make us look like we know much more than we actually do. 😉

          The reality is that working IT we really do not do much typing at all. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3260905


          by firefly1522 ·

          In reply to And just how often

          I’m required to type up procedures for others who may later be in my position and for our end-users and also keep documentation on different things that I do. In order for me to be efficient I have to be able to type so that it doesn’t take me all day to document what I’ve done. Sometimes I’m also required to send out emails to various people inside our business and to outside vendors.

          Don’t get me wrong, I love my keyboard shortcuts! 😀 But either way, I think that it’s beneficial for me to kind of know my way around a computer keyboard because I may be called upon do something else other than input a few short commands or something that is more than a few keystrokes.

        • #3241258

          Well the biggest problem that I’ve run across

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Well…..

          Is the differences in each model of Keyboard. Because I’m using well over 20 different keyboards per day in different offices I’m always looking for those elusive /\ keys which seem to move about all over the place on different keyboards. 😉

          I used to touch type but have long since given it up as now I need to constantly be looking at the different keyboards for all of those odd characters that are required to get into the guts of things from the command line. Actually it is one of my pet peeves why can they make every keyboard exactly the same? 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3240825


          by tert ·

          In reply to If Dad is in the kitchen every day…

          How about actually learning to use the damn computer? One can use the same argument, and I bet even fewer people can use their pc as efficiently as they type.

    • #3243761

      So what?

      by mhasf ·

      In reply to Typing

      If people were hired as clericals, than they should be tested for their typing skills. However, someone who has been hired as a Market Analyst, will spend most of their time in Excel and other analytical tools. In this case, their accuracy is more important than their speed.

      I believe that the school systems are remiss in not requiring typing classes. Especially in the current environment, where the use of PCs is the norm and not the exception. When I went to school, it was an option, and was dominated by those thinking of clerical aspirations.

    • #3262537

      Self-Appointed IT God

      by pmadiga ·

      In reply to Typing

      Judging by your question, I’d say your co-workers have more than a few “skills” they’d like to require that you change… to make a better work place, of course.

    • #3262533

      Of all the things to be concerned with

      by jim.bassett9 ·

      In reply to Typing

      Well this reply is being brought to you from a hunt and peck typer, a lead software engineer who has written costless number of lines of code in many different SW languages for 20+ years. The only company that I know that had such a policy is Alcon that is located in Fort Worth Texas and the policy may have been more of the department manager rather than the company. This manager would use a stop watch and time how fast a programmer was typing and from what I understand it really caused a morale problem, big surprise, and he is no longer manager there.

      If one is using Micrsoft’s Visual Studio with intellsense which helps complete the methods, function and subroutine defintions, etc., being fast at typing could be a problem. For my department and my policy, design, unit testing, self documenting, well structure coding practices are the things to focus on and not typing speed.

    • #3262529


      by arjee63 ·

      In reply to Typing

      Okay, so not all of us can type 120 words a minute. So? That’s no excuse for technical professionals to not be able to use a keyboard efficiently. We get paid to produce! Whatever it is that he does, if it involves having to use a keyboard, this clod is producing at lesser speed than his contemporaries and probably being paid the same.

      Of course, my boss is a mantis typist too – and he makes us all sit and suffer through watching him type lengthy emails in his presence…so maybe I’m a little too close to this subject.

      • #3262415

        Please Help, advice needed.

        by hcetrepus ·

        In reply to Amen!

        Hello all, I was told the other day that i will be needing brain surgery. The good news is that I live in the same town as the greatest brain surgeon of our time! The bad news is that he is a hunt and peck typist =(

        Can anyone recommend a skilled brain surgeon, yet who can profficiently type without looking at the keyboard?

        • #3262171

          that’s just silly

          by passwordchanged ·

          In reply to Please Help, advice needed.

          does the surgeon use the keyboard whilst operating? Nope. Do techs use keyboards whilst configuring, coding, maintaining, and documenting? Yes. A tech who can type well is worth more than one who can’t.

        • #3262157

          That only works if typing in their native language

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to that’s just silly

          If they are punching in code or command line prompts it only marginally if at all improves speed and quite often because of the improper words symbols being used actually slows touch typists down. Not to mention when you are at a headless server and have to hold a keyboard in one hand while using the other to type in the various commands in a situation like this which is not all that uncommon it is very poor practice to rely on touch typing as you only have the one hand free to do the actual typing so you have to promptly forget everything that you have learned and just get on with the job in hand. 😉

          Col ]:)

        • #3261889

          c’mon, be real – touch typists do better in ANY language

          by arjee63 ·

          In reply to That only works if typing in their native language

          Touch typing isn’t phonics! If you know where the letters are on a keyboard, you can spend your day typing activation keys, and still be typing faster and more accurately than the Mantis typist. I’d hate to think I had to key in new WEP keys and not be able to keep my eyes on the key instead of the keyboard. Yeesh!!

        • #3261863

          Really ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to c’mon, be real – touch typists do better in ANY language

          Cyrillic ?
          Chinese ideograms ?
          VMS ?

          Standard widely used Qwerty keyboard
          where’s the Pf1 key ?
          How about the Compose key
          Or F14 ( ok it’s next to F13)

          No don’t look that’s cheating.

          Ok an easy one where’s the (sh.t can’t find it on this one) # key

        • #3261463

          That only works when you use the same keyboard all the time

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to c’mon, be real – touch typists do better in ANY language

          Try for a change to use three different keyboards from the same maker but different models and see just how well you go! 😀

          Or just to keep it simple got to every computer you can find and touch type dir/w on everyone of them and see just how well and accurately you get on. :p

          Of course there are more complex command strings you can type in to get something that you need to work but that one alone will show you just how nonstandard the adverage computer keyboard is laid out. 😉

          I just lack the luxury of using the same keyboard all day every day on any given day I’ll be working with up wards of 20 different keyboards and when this happens it is impossible to get it right which in my line of work is far more important than getting the characters to appear on the screen. 🙂

          Col ]:)

    • #3262528

      You’re right…

      by godaves ·

      In reply to Typing

      …that is petty.

    • #3262521


      by david_hobbs ·

      In reply to Typing

      I was hired to keep the systems up and running which I do very well, I was not hired to type 75 wpm.
      My management couldn’t care a a whit if I type fast, just that I type accurate.

    • #3262520

      Depends on What you do

      by mkhalili ·

      In reply to Typing

      Speed is only important if you don’t have to think or accuracy is less important. I am an IT Development Manager, I would not bother how people are typing as long as they are developing error free programs within a reasonable time.

    • #3262510

      Define “Efficient”

      by careed ·

      In reply to Typing

      Excluding data-entry people and secretaries/clerk typists, I do not see the need to require typing for computer work. For me, I have the fastest two fingers in the West. Yes, I look at the keyboard at times. Yes, sometimes I use a third finger. But, in general, I only use two fingers, I have no concept of touch-typing, and I have to correct myself a lot; however, I’m probably a faster “typist” than more programmers I know. Doesn’t make me a better programmer, nor does the ability to touch-type.

    • #3262509

      Not so petty……

      by davidfacer ·

      In reply to Typing

      I too have found it difficult to understand why so many people in high-paying IT jobs who NEED to be able to input accurately and quickly cannot type. Companies are paying big $$ for these people to do thier jobs, and it would be frustrating to watch these employees sit there pecking out their stuff at the keyboard ever so slowly.
      On the other hand I work mostly one-on-one with my customers (I run my own business) and they are forever telling me to slow down so I can see what I am doing! I taught myself to four-finger type, but I can do so with minimal errors and at a reasonable speed – but I still gotta watch the keyboard OFTEN – and I’ve been doing this for 15 years! I did my formal training in the DOD – and it was NOT a requirement to be able to type beforehand – and they are smart cookies. If it is good enough for the DOD, well……..

    • #3262503

      I think if you can get the job done it shouldn’t matter.

      by daniel.allen ·

      In reply to Typing

      Maybe we need to have people take a personality test as well. If you are intellegent, know your stuff, and are good with people, what does it matter if you have to look at the keyboard?

      • #3262490

        Speed vs. Accuracy

        by welldone ·

        In reply to I think if you can get the job done it shouldn’t matter.

        Yes, love those that can type at blazing speeds but cannot spend a minute or two to spell and/or grammar check. I am more irritated with the lack of communication skills that we see more & more everyday than whether someone can type at a certain speed.

    • #3262498

      Get over it

      by cweb ·

      In reply to Typing

      I think this is very petty. Unless you are standing over their shoulder waiting on them to type something for you, why should you care about their typing speed? I’ve never heard of anyone outside of an admin assistant requiring certain typing speeds.
      Sure it would be easier and faster to type as you would like, but who cares as long as the job is done in a reasonable time. No one else cares and neither should you.

    • #3262495

      Who Cares

      by johnlv ·

      In reply to Typing

      I might not be able to type at fast rate. But then there are ones who can type fast but cannot fix a downed server or troubleshoot a network problem. It is not my job to type long lengthy letters. My typing speed should not be a factor.

    • #3262491

      No policy here–can they get the job done.

      by soonerjeff ·

      In reply to Typing

      I had an employee that couldn’t touch type and handled her tasks pecking away with one finger on each hand. I, too, was concerned when I first saw her working this way. However, this employee became my star employee. She had a “can do” personality and managed her time to get more done in a day than any of my other employees. She worked smart and was a great team player. She taught me that it wasn’t how she typed that was important but how she handled herself that was the most important quality. Require a policy requiring typing skills? No, it’s not an issue I would attach a formal policy to.

    • #3262484

      Who Cares! Its The Performance

      by logos-systems ·

      In reply to Typing

      Why would anyone need a policy for to require that a person can type? I know of a few people who can type, at slow but reasonable speed, who make more mistakes and take longer to complete a same task than another programmer who uses the hunt and peck method of typing. Its not how you type but rather can you do the job, and is your performance satisfactory for those that hired you.

    • #3262483

      Put it in the educational curriculum, not in the job requirements

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to Typing

      A lot of frustrating and amusing things happen just because of fate. A good many of the women of the Boomer Generation deliberately refused to learn to type because they swore they would never take stifling jobs as secretaries like their mothers had. Who could have predicted that the darling jobs of their future would require spending much of their lives huddled over a keyboard?

      Many men of my generation (War Babies) refused to learn to type as a macho thing. It didn’t occur to them that most of them were destined for college and that in college in the typewriter era, much more than in the real world, people with good typing skills got an hour more of sleep than the hunt-and-peckers.

      I agree with everyone who said that people with poor typing skills learn to perform well anyway if they’re motivated. It’s not a deal breaker and I wouldn’t make it a job requirement.

      I do have a problem with people who wear two-inch fingernail extensions. They’re just not serious about their work.

      I would recommend that high schools put keyboard skills back in their curriculum. Perhaps even elementary schools. A lot of young kids learn simply dreadful keyboard habits starting in pre-school. There’s no harm in offering them the chance to become better typists while they’re still young enough to change easily. Most 35-year olds have a limited ability to learn kinesthetic skills like that.

      I worked my way through college as a typist. My wife was one of the women who never wanted to be a secretary but she was also a practical realist who learned to type just in case. She let me type all of her papers in college (she got her degree long after I did) and it was great fun for me because I learned a lot from reading them. Now she does her business on the internet and she types blindlingly fast and accurately.

    • #3262474

      I type fast

      by fitzmark ·

      In reply to Typing

      but my friend doesn’t. We’re both in IT, although he spends most of his day typing in ip addresses, whereas I do more text emails and documentation. He said it isn’t an issue for him….I personally couldn’t even imagine not being able to type.

    • #3262473

      Get over it

      by crk / members united corp ·

      In reply to Typing

      The end results are what matter.
      If a person’s typing can keep up with their thought processes at the level of providing the solution needed to the problem in a timely manner, then they are typing fast enough. I think you’ll find that many “professionals” don’t type especially fast or “efficiently” because they don’t really need to. The bulk of their time is really spent thinking (or doing other things that are truly productive), and how much time is spent actually typing is often irrelevent.

    • #3262470

      Communications Skills

      by gneal ·

      In reply to Typing

      Now let me get this straight, you are annoyed by those of us who can’t type! I, on the other hand, am annoyed more by those who can’t compose a decent English sentence or use proper punctuation. I’m the one affected most by my slow typing. My readers are the ones who have to suffer if I’m too lazy to use punctuation or compose my thoughts in a logical manner. Communication is to your reader is the point not typing technique. Admittedly, I would be more efficient if I typed faster, but I?m not that slow. I think written and oral communications skills are far more essential than typing technique.
      George Neal
      Computer Networking Professor

    • #3262464


      by jeffassessor ·

      In reply to Typing

      There is absolutly NO CORaLATION between talentid IT people and their typing skilz!

      • #3262449

        There are times when it comes in handy…

        by alangeek ·

        In reply to NO CORELATION

        When that big power outage hit the eastern half of the US, all of our desk machines lost power, but our servers were on UPS, naturally, and the backup generators are supposed to kick in within 10 seconds or so. Unfortunately, they didn’t, so we were sprinting for the data center. For some unknown reason none of the emergency lighting was working, and nobody had any flashlights, so most of my group was trying to hold the keyboards up near the monitor to see while they typed, trying to shut down the servers before the batteries ran out. Since I touch-type and don’t need to look at the keyboard at all, I ended up shutting down just about all of our servers with everyone else standing watching me.

    • #3262447

      Get a life

      by rsouza9 ·

      In reply to Typing

      What the hell does typing have to do with being a tech.
      Next thing you’ll be asking should all IT pro’s be pompous asses like you.
      Or maybe it should be a requirement that all IT pros play D&D………… you?
      Or maybe all IT pro’s need to score 25 or higher on geektest.
      If it bothers you when you see people not typing correctly, then don’t spend so much of your time looking at what others do.

    • #3262438

      Get Over It and Get a Life !

      by ron.riley ·

      In reply to Typing

      If not being a typist is all you have to whine about, when someone is otherwise qualified for the job. You apparently don’t have enough real work to do.
      Those of us that don’t “type” also are less likely to get Corporal Tunnel Syndrome.
      Which makes YOU a higher risk for insurance and disability costs to the company then a non-typist.
      I took a typing test several years ago and finished with 28 words per minute.
      The average typist (I worked for the company that designed the first electronic typewriter – NOT IBM) types 30 words per minute.

      You should really try working for a living, and spend less time whining. Typing fast and making more spelling mistakes produces less through put!

      • #3262378

        Give ’em heck!

        by kathy ·

        In reply to Get Over It and Get a Life !

        We don’t want to encourage “Corporal Tunnel Syndrome” now do we! LOLOLOL

    • #3262429

      Typing a Requirement??

      by holdcraftm ·

      In reply to Typing

      Typing should be mandatory for a High School Diploma, but not for any job except those that require Clerical Skills to complete. So for a person in a job requiring a large amount of data input into a computer, a employer might place typing skills as a requirement at some level. However, not all programming jobs or jobs that use a computer require typing skills. I’m an executive in a very large firm and I worked my way up the management ladder using my skills which don’t include typing. I do hunt and peck with four fingers at about 20 to 25 words a minute. I’ve used a computer to help do my job since 1980 which was the beginning stages of Desktops and typing, or a lack of typing skills has never hindered my job accomplishment.
      So the answer to your question is yes, if typing speed is an important aspect of the job, then you should require it. However, if accuracy and expertise in programming or job knowledge is important, then typing may not be the determining factor. One other point, I’de take a dedicated employee with initiative and job expertise over a typist with lesser expertise in the job anytime. If one-fingered typing bothers you, get over it. Especially if the person is doing their job and not hindering others from doing their jobs.

    • #3262421

      Training should be at least Offered . . .

      by roadbiker ·

      In reply to Typing

      I haven’t waded through all the posts, but I agree with the original post. There are way too many without a clue on “keyboarding”. I took typing in HS, and although I’ve never been a speed deamon, or that accurate, I’m hardly a hunt and pecker. Companies should at least offer a course or at least a training program. Heck, I’ve seen some freeware Games designed to teach typing. At least is companies had these available people could choose to learn or Supervisors could make the decision who needs training.
      When is what people use good enough? How much time wasted is acceptable. Most people are basically lazy, even if they know there is a more efficient way of doing something. Why do people use a spreadsheet program when a Database program would work much better. Heck, some people who learned Spreadsheeting first will use Excel for Wordprocessing!
      Some won’t learn typing for other reasons. I dated a girl about 15 years ago. College degree. A doer, could organize most anything and all sorts of awards for doing so. Definately more of a Manager. Told me she Refused to learn to type because she didn’t want secretary jobs dumped on her! Don’t know if she ever learned, but would certainly make her current job easier, and I’m sure she needs to use a computer to do it.

    • #3262411

      This is BS

      by dryflies ·

      In reply to Typing

      I flunked typing twice in middle school. When I got out of the Navy, I went to school under the Vet Vocational Rehab program. They made me take a dexterity test to see how good a little worker bee I could be. The tester told me I was lucky I was a smart guy (1600 sat) because it was the lowest score he had ever seen. I still have to look to type but have made it to almost 40 words a min on a good day using 2-3 fingers on each hand. Just because I can’t touch type doesn’t make me a bad tech. I don’t think my productivity is any lower than anyone else. I make fewer mistakes than most touch typers and I get the job done. Take your typing test and ….

    • #3262403

      I do

      by rdaw ·

      In reply to Typing

      Our small networking and custom development company has such a policy. If you can’t do 30wpm, you can’t work here. We bill most of our clients by the hour, and I can’t justify billing for hunting and pecking.

      BTW, you also have to be able to do basic W2k and WXP command line utilities.

    • #3262397


      by silver12822 ·

      In reply to Typing

      It really peeves me when some one makes a complaint about someone or something, when they themselves are not really much better.
      You have not bothered to capitalize the first word of many of your statements here. Nor, have have you bothered with the word ‘I’.
      Most people have learned to do this by the fourth or fifth grade. I can only assume that you have not yet reached this level. Why don’t you wait until you grow up before you complain about what adults do.

    • #3262387

      Not too fast though…..

      by kathy ·

      In reply to Typing

      I remember being offended that the speed with which I type was noticed by folks in a chat room and they decided I was “obviously” a secretary!